dis·​dain·​ful | \ dis-ˈdān-fəl How to pronounce disdainful (audio) \

Definition of disdainful

: full of or expressing contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior : full of or expressing scorn or disdain a disdainful glare is disdainful of all modern art

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from disdainful

disdainfully \ dis-​ˈdān-​fə-​lē How to pronounce disdainful (audio) \ adverb
disdainfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for disdainful



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for disdainful

proud, arrogant, haughty, lordly, insolent, overbearing, supercilious, disdainful mean showing scorn for inferiors. proud may suggest an assumed superiority or loftiness. too proud to take charity arrogant implies a claiming for oneself of more consideration or importance than is warranted. a conceited and arrogant executive haughty suggests a consciousness of superior birth or position. a haughty aristocrat lordly implies pomposity or an arrogant display of power. a lordly condescension insolent implies contemptuous haughtiness. ignored by an insolent waiter overbearing suggests a tyrannical manner or an intolerable insolence. an overbearing supervisor supercilious implies a cool, patronizing haughtiness. an aloof and supercilious manner disdainful suggests a more active and openly scornful superciliousness. disdainful of their social inferiors

Examples of disdainful in a Sentence

He looked at the waiter with a disdainful glare. a disdainful attitude toward authority
Recent Examples on the Web Morrison has long been deeply distrustful and disdainful of authority figures, which, in his line of work, have most frequently manifested themselves as record executives. Los Angeles Times, "What happened to Van Morrison? The fall from eccentric genius to conspiracy theorist," 10 May 2021 My mother, wearing her N95 mask while grocery shopping in Braintree, received cautious, disdainful glances from white mothers. BostonGlobe.com, "I’m Asian American and racism makes COVID-19 more than a pandemic for me," 17 Mar. 2021 But my argument usually falls on deaf ears due to a handful of disdainful figures who think House of Cards was a workable strategy memo. Philip Elliott, Time, "The Real Congress is Kinder, Gentler Than What You See on TV," 19 Feb. 2021 He could not be seen, just as the little black boy was not seen, or was seen inaccurately, by the unperceptive and disdainful white boy. Louise Glück, The New York Review of Books, "The Poet and the Reader: Nobel Lecture 2020," 5 Jan. 2021 One signature move is tucking her chin into her chest, looking up at people with widened eyes—a disdainful miming of submission. Sarah Miller, The New Yorker, "The Fatal Flaw of “The Queen’s Gambit”," 1 Dec. 2020 Over the last quarter century, political scientists have seen that Americans have grown increasingly disdainful of the party that’s in opposition to their own. Matt Simon, Wired, "Why These Cursed Debates Made You Feel So Upset," 9 Oct. 2020 On a day when the ball was flying out of Dodger Stadium — like expletives would have flown at the Astros had there been fans in the stands — the loudest balls were hit by the most disdainful of the villains, Carlos Correa. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "With a chance to smack MLB’s villains, A’s come up well short in Game 1," 5 Oct. 2020 There is no doubt that the president has had a cavalier and disdainful attitude toward masks. The Editors, National Review, "The White House Owes Americans Transparency on Trump’s Illness," 5 Oct. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of disdainful

circa 1542, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for disdainful

see disdain entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disdainful

Time Traveler for disdainful

Time Traveler

The first known use of disdainful was circa 1542

See more words from the same year

Statistics for disdainful

Last Updated

16 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disdainful.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdainful. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on disdainful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for disdainful

Nglish: Translation of disdainful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on disdainful

What made you want to look up disdainful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!