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 The underlying questions are too complex to be handled at our discourse’s normal speed; the many voices within it who allow their disdain for radicalism to cloud their analyses can’t be trusted to handle the issue carefully anyway. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The “Law and Order” Backlash Against Biden Was a Mirage," 4 Sep. 2020 The disdain for Trump by both Clintons was on display during Ryan’s interview. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Bill Clinton: Trump will be ‘stacking sandbags’ to stay in White House after defeat," 2 Sep. 2020 There is a culture of disdain for working families and taxpayers at HCPSS. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: Masks should still be worn even playing in outdoor basketball league; and more from readers | READER COMMENTARY," 1 Sep. 2020 Darwin wrote that the partial closure of the eyelids…or the turning away of the eyes…are likewise highly expressive of disdain. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Night and Day," 26 Aug. 2020 James, then the New York City public advocate and a former City Council member, made no secret of her disdain for the NRA during her 2018 campaign. Jon Campbell, USA TODAY, "NY AG Letitia James called the NRA a 'terrorist organization.' Will it hurt her case?," 19 Aug. 2020 The chorus of disdain that greets any white woman who questions the Karen meme comes from a broad, and unexpected, coalition: anti-racists and bog-standard misogynists. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Karen War Will Never End," 19 Aug. 2020 The primary result not only showed the power of the Democratic endorsement, but also reflected voters' disdain for Trump. The Enquirer, "Democrats turned their backs on Jim Neil. Now the Hamilton County sheriff is backing a Republican," 24 Aug. 2020 Both Trump and Nixon, however, did share an acute disdain for the journalists, intellectuals, and elites who underestimated and undermined them at every turn. David Harsanyi, National Review, "Dear Richard; Sincerely, Donald," 20 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the French Quarter, visitors love them while residents tend to disdain them for their impact on home access and quality of life. Richard Campanella, NOLA.com, "Pedestrian mall debate echoes New Orleans' alley-building efforts of 200 years ago," 3 Sep. 2020 Trump, by contrast, has nothing but disdain for scientific expertise on any subject, taking his cues entirely from industry lobbyists only concerned about short-term profits. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Trump’s Republican Party Is Erasing Reagan’s Memory," 31 Aug. 2020 There were relatives of crime victims, a female Marine Corps veteran and a democracy activist from China showering praise on Trump – or disdain on Biden. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "GOP seeks to soften Trump's edges while vilifying Biden at a convention focused on winning suburban voters," 28 Aug. 2020 There are all shades of comments, from effusive praise to disdain and, of course, some garden variety trolling. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "A propaganda battle is playing out in the replies to Trump's tweets," 6 Aug. 2020 But, as craving for restaurants intensifies and disdain for our own sourdough starter grows, looking at the meticulous, thoughtful fridges of some of the best cooks in the country provides a respite and a moment of delicious inspiration. Flora Tsapovsky, SFChronicle.com, "A peek into the refrigerators of Alice Waters and Dominique Crenn," 12 June 2020 Luckily, most people responded with envy, not disdain. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Work from home, but have no room? Buy an Airstream RV," 6 June 2020 Snow disdained the mockingjay long ago Even before Katniss became the symbolic Mockingjay, a rebel of the Capitol, Snow disliked the hybrid bird for reasons that had nothing to do with the skilled archer. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "5 things to know about 'Hunger Games' prequel book 'Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes'," 19 May 2020 What voters appeared to disdain early in his campaign -- the steady hand of experience pulling the levers of government in a crisis -- now can be an asset, Biden’s campaign believes. Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg.com, "Biden Takes on Mantle of Nominee With Virus Hanging Over Campaign," 8 May 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

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 20 Sep. 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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Comments on disdain

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