1

disdain

noun dis·dain \ dis-ˈdān \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

Definition of disdain

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

Examples of disdain in a Sentence

  1. McCarthy's indifference to accolades and his disdain for grandstanding … turned into a disdain even for being understood. —Louis MenandNew Yorker5 Apr. 2004
  2. 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 KleinTime24 Nov. 2003
  3. 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 KakutaniNew York Times27 June 2002
  4. He regarded their proposal with disdain.

  5. I have a healthy disdain for companies that mistreat their workers.

Recent Examples of disdain from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of disdain

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


2

disdain

verb dis·dain \ dis-ˈdān \

Definition of disdain

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

Examples of disdain in a Sentence

  1. 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 KrauthammerTime22 May 2000
  2. 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 FordWall Street Journal12 June 1998
  3. His vehicle would be a form he both enjoyed and disdained—pulp fiction. His audience would be one he often condescended to—the black masses. —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.New York Times Book Review20 Sept. 1992
  4. There is also evidence of epic womanizing that Mr. Schickel mentions but loftily announces that he disdains to tell us about. —Camille PagliaNew York Times Book Review21 July 1991
  5. They disdained him for being weak.

  6. She disdained to answer their questions.

Recent Examples of disdain from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of disdain

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

Synonym Discussion of disdain

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

DISDAIN Defined for English Language Learners

disdain

noun

Definition of disdain for English Language Learners

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


disdain

verb

Definition of disdain for English Language Learners

  • : to strongly dislike or disapprove of (someone or something)

  • : to refuse to do (something) because of feelings of dislike or disapproval


DISDAIN Defined for Kids

1

disdain

noun dis·dain \ dis-ˈdān \

Definition of disdain for Students

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

disdainful

adjective

disdainfully

\-fə-lē\ adverb

2

disdain

verb

Definition of disdain for Students

disdained; disdaining
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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