disdain

noun
dis·​dain | \ dis-ˈdān How to pronounce disdain (audio) \

Definition of disdain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior : scorn

disdain

verb
dis·​dain | \ dis-ˈdān How to pronounce disdain (audio) \
disdained; disdaining; disdains

Definition of disdain (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to look on with scorn disdained him as a coward
2 : to refuse or abstain from because of a feeling of contempt or scorn disdained to answer their questions
3 : to treat as beneath one's notice or dignity

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Choose the Right Synonym for disdain

Verb

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

Examples of disdain in a Sentence

Noun McCarthy's indifference to accolades and his disdain for grandstanding … turned into a disdain even for being understood. — Louis Menand, New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2004 There is fierce disdain within the Pentagon for the passive U.N. peacekeepers who stood by while thousands were murdered in Bosnia's ethnic cleansing. — Joe Klein, Time, 24 Nov. 2003 But for all its playful love of puns and cool disdain for "suits," the high-tech world is, at heart, a cruel, unforgiving place ruled by the merciless dynamics of the marketplace. — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 27 June 2002 He regarded their proposal with disdain. I have a healthy disdain for companies that mistreat their workers. Verb The right eyes him [Thomas Jefferson] suspiciously as a limousine Jacobin so enamored of revolution that he once suggested we should have one every 20 years. The left disdains him as your basic race hypocrite. — Charles Krauthammer, Time, 22 May 2000 Only in our last days on the peninsula (the arm of Antarctica that polar scientists disdain as the "Banana Belt") did we see our first frozen sea … — Kate Ford, Wall Street Journal, 12 June 1998 His vehicle would be a form he both enjoyed and disdained—pulp fiction. — Henry Louis Gates, Jr., New York Times Book Review, 20 Sept. 1992 There is also evidence of epic womanizing that Mr. Schickel mentions but loftily announces that he disdains to tell us about. — Camille Paglia, New York Times Book Review, 21 July 1991 They disdained him for being weak. She disdained to answer their questions.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For nearly a decade, Canada was run by a leader whose disdain for science and the environment was comparable to Trump’s. Geoff Dembicki, The New Republic, "Will Joe Biden Betray the Climate Movement Like Justin Trudeau Did?," 31 Dec. 2020 Despite Trump’s obvious disdain for those who publicly disagree with him, Barr had generally remained in the president’s good graces and has been one of the president’s most ardent allies. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Barr resigning as attorney general, Trump says in tweet," 14 Dec. 2020 The movie, directed by David Fincher from a script written by his late father, looks at how Herman J. Mankiewicz, a Hollywood insider with a disdain for the business and a costly love for alcohol, created the world of the film. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Real Stories Behind Mank Are Stranger Than Fiction," 7 Dec. 2020 Opposition in the Legislature — plus overwhelming disdain from the public — killed the project. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "8 urban design disasters the Twin Cities has avoided," 23 Oct. 2020 His baseless optimism, disdain for scientists’ advice and unwillingness to take responsibility have had devastating consequences. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: The deadly consequences of a clueless president," 5 Aug. 2020 Join Atlantic staff writer Tom McTague and editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg for a live conversation about how international perception of the U.S. has shifted from adoration and emulation to pity and disdain. The Atlantic, "The Big Story: The Decline of the American World," 30 July 2020 During that same period, what started as progressive elites’ curiosity about the white working class gave way to bald disdain and fury. Lisa R. Pruitt, The Conversation, "The chattering classes got the ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ book wrong – and they’re getting the movie wrong, too," 3 Dec. 2020 And Trump’s disdain for NATO and his benevolence toward Russian President Vladimir Putin pack potential consequences in Norway. Nate Carlisle, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Some scholars see Trump years adding to problems abroad for LDS Church," 29 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Authorities also blasted Ant for sub-par corporate governance, disdain toward regulatory requirements, and engaging in regulatory arbitrage. Fortune, "Chinese regulators order Ant Group to focus on payments, stop short of breakup," 27 Dec. 2020 Authorities also blasted Ant for sub-par corporate governance, disdain toward regulatory requirements, and engaging in regulatory arbitrage. Bloomberg.com, "China Orders Ant to Return to Its Roots in Payments Services," 27 Dec. 2020 The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations as virus surges," 11 Nov. 2020 The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations as virus surges," 11 Nov. 2020 The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations as virus surges," 11 Nov. 2020 The modern world is quick to disdain quiet kindness, loveliness of character, and beauty of virtue as old-fashioned and unnecessary when clothed in the form of characters such as Beth March, Fanny Price, or Cinderella. Sarah Schutte, National Review, "Three Cheers for the Quiet Ones," 28 Nov. 2020 The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations as virus surges," 11 Nov. 2020 The fall surge similarly has been blamed largely on cold weather driving people inside and disdain for masks and social distancing, stoked by President Donald Trump and other politicians. Mike Stobbe, Anchorage Daily News, "US hits record COVID-19 hospitalizations as virus surges," 11 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of disdain

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disdain

Noun

Middle English desdeyne, from Anglo-French desdaign, from desdeigner — see disdain entry 2

Verb

Middle English desdeynen, from Anglo-French desdeigner, dedeigner, from Vulgar Latin *disdignare, from Latin dis- + dignare to deign — more at deign

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Time Traveler for disdain

Time Traveler

The first known use of disdain was in the 14th century

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Statistics for disdain

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for disdain

disdain

noun
How to pronounce disdain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disdain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of strong dislike or disapproval of someone or something you think does not deserve respect

disdain

verb
How to pronounce disdain (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of disdain (Entry 2 of 2)

formal
: to strongly dislike or disapprove of (someone or something)
: to refuse to do (something) because of feelings of dislike or disapproval

disdain

noun
dis·​dain | \ dis-ˈdān How to pronounce disdain (audio) \

Kids Definition of disdain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a feeling of dislike for someone or something considered not good enough She eyed the food with disdain.

Other Words from disdain

disdainful adjective
disdainfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb

disdain

verb
disdained; disdaining

Kids Definition of disdain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to feel dislike for something or someone usually for not being good enough He disdained people he felt were weak.
2 : to refuse because of feelings of dislike She disdained to answer.

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Comments on disdain

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