despise

verb de·spise \ di-ˈspīz \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of despise

despised; despising
transitive verb
1 : to look down on with contempt or aversion
  • despised the weak
2 : to regard as negligible, worthless, or distasteful
  • despises organized religion

despisement

play \-ˈspīz-mənt\ noun

despiser

play \-ˈspī-zər\ noun

Examples of despise in a Sentence

  1. She was despised as a hypocrite.

  2. I despise anchovies on pizza, and I refuse to eat them!

Recent Examples of despise from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'despise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of despise

Middle English, from Anglo-French despis-, stem of despire, from Latin despicere, from de- + specere to look — more at spy

Synonym Discussion of despise

despise, contemn, scorn, disdain mean to regard as unworthy of one's notice or consideration. despise may suggest an emotional response ranging from strong dislike to loathing.
    • despises cowards
contemn implies a vehement condemnation of a person or thing as low, vile, feeble, or ignominious.
    • contemns the image of women promoted by advertisers
scorn implies a ready or indignant contempt.
    • scorns the very thought of retirement
disdain implies an arrogant or supercilious aversion to what is regarded as unworthy.
    • disdained popular music

DESPISE Defined for English Language Learners

despise

verb

Definition of despise for English Language Learners

  • : to dislike (something or someone) very much


DESPISE Defined for Kids

despise

verb de·spise \ di-ˈspīz \

Definition of despise for Students

despised; despising
: to feel scorn and dislike for

Synonym Discussion of despise

despise and scorn mean to consider a person or thing as not worth noticing or taking an interest in. despise may be used of feeling ranging from strong dislike to true hatred.
    • I despise liars.
scorn is used of a deep and ready feeling of angry disgust for anything that a person doesn't respect.
    • The sergeant scorned the soldiers who were lazy.


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