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 Barkley and O’Neal criticize a lot of players, and many of those players shoot back at the Hall of Fame duo with disdain or accuse them of envy because of the lofty NBA salaries and the extravagant lifestyles compared with their generation. BostonGlobe.com, "76ers’ victory over the Celtics on Thursday," 15 Dec. 2019 Occasional requests to leave work to deal with issues at his son's school were met with disdain. Alice Gomstyn, chicagotribune.com, "How to tell whether a prospective employer is actually ‘family-friendly’," 4 Nov. 2019 An overtly offensive-minded player who Mou treats with disdain? SI.com, "Sliding Doors: Predicting the Rest of the Season Under Mourinho & Allegri if Zidane Is Sacked," 23 Oct. 2019 Like you, many speak of William Pereira’s three-pavilion design with disdain. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "An open letter to LACMA architect Peter Zumthor: Stop dissing L.A.’s art," 9 July 2019 Both Legend and his wife, TV host/cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, have been outspoken about their disdain for No. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "John Legend unleashes on Trump, lets expletives fly: 'Our president is a flaming racist'," 31 July 2019 Anna Akhmatova, who Taubman would assert held Grossman’s work in disdain, was known to shun prose, even Tolstoy and Chekhov. New York Times, "Can Communists Be Good Americans?," 26 July 2019 Yasiel Puig gazed at one of the umpires in disdain. Andy Mccullough, latimes.com, "Dodgers have no answer for pitcher Patrick Corbin in 3-0 loss to the Diamondbacks," 5 Apr. 2018 Understand that outside forces would love to see the country continue to look at government with disdain. Eliza Fawcett, courant.com, "Reps. Jim Himes and John Larson talk impeachment at Manchester town hall," 26 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Working as a rent-a-clown by day and fostering a nascent stand-up comedy career at night, though not successful at either, he’s afflicted with an intermittent, unnatural cackle that literally pains him and is cruelly disdained at every turn. Brian Truitt, Detroit Free Press, "Joaquin Phoenix will chill you in unsettling 'Joker'," 28 Aug. 2019 The president disdains traditional military alliances like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Foreign policy is on the 2020 ballot, right alongside Trump," 20 Oct. 2019 Ted Koskoff taught himself how to be a trial lawyer by picking up cases his colleagues disdained, became a prominent trial attorney and eventually, president of the American Trial Lawyers Association and its Connecticut affiliate. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "Extraordinary Life: Michael Koskoff made a career of fighting for social justice and equality," 6 Oct. 2019 Many Arab Knesset members are unwilling to be formally part of an Israeli government, and many Jewish centrist politicians disdain the Arabs’ anti-Zionism. Zachary Evans, National Review, "Making Sense of Israel’s Post-Election Political Chaos," 20 Sep. 2019 But there is also a chance that this ends up plasticizing a movement that was raw and powerful and eye-opening (not to mention disdained by owners who wanted to keep a certain brand of politics away from their business). Conor Orr, SI.com, "Vic Fangio Is Bringing His Hometown Vibes to Denver," 19 Aug. 2019 Antitrust law, disdained for decades, suddenly became exciting. Wired, "It’s Time to Push Tech Forward, and Rebuild What It Broke," 15 Oct. 2019 Entirely self-made, Edison disdained those who fell on hard times. David Oshinsky, New York Times, "An Inventor’s Life That Was Incandescent Any Way You Look at It," 22 Oct. 2019 Lefrak, who disdains shows of emotion in his operating room, remembers no celebration at all. oregonlive, "The tragic, redemptive journey of one human heart," 5 Oct. 2019

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

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on disdain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disdain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disdain

Spanish Central: Translation of disdain

Nglish: Translation of disdain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disdain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disdain

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