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 Moreover, our respondents voiced disdain for the facts-centric approach most of them encountered in high school, and which continued, though to a lesser extent, in college. Time, "The Split in How Americans Think About Our Collective Past Is Real—But There’s a Way Out of the ‘History Wars’," 29 Apr. 2021 However it was financed, the couple’s apparent disdain for John Lewis-style décor may sit badly with ordinary people, for whom the store is a symbol of bourgeois prosperity. New York Times, "For U.K.’s Johnson, Plenty of Mud but Will It Stick?," 27 Apr. 2021 Hodgkinson was a Bernie Sanders supporter whose posts on social media showed disdain and hatred for the GOP and former President Donald Trump. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "Scalise says he was 'shocked' when the FBI erased political motive behind GOP shooting," 26 Apr. 2021 Loyalty to Trump, after all, meant a complete disdain for public servants; a belief that faceless deep-state bureaucrats routinely conspire to strip us of our liberties. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Garcia: 'What a sellout!' Ivanka Trump loses her loyalists by getting vaccinated," 24 Apr. 2021 The ambassador was particularly worried about the Taliban’s disdain for women’s rights. Joe Walsh, Forbes, "Afghan Ambassador Is ‘Worried’ About Her Country’s Future After U.S. Leaves. Here’s Why Some In Congress Agree.," 16 Apr. 2021 Our only critique is Griffin’s disdain for cell phones. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "S.A. Lelchuk's thriller 'One Got Away' a riveting follow-up to 'Save Me From Dangerous Men'," 13 Apr. 2021 The sports industry’s longstanding public disdain for its gambling counterparts belied a symbiotic relationship that has existed since Ancient Greece, whose citizens were known to toss a few drachmas on fights and races. Gabe Lacques, USA Today, "The big bet: Sports gambling has leagues, networks and books desperate for a piece of your action," 10 Apr. 2021 Jay-Z’s disdain for Cristal Champagne is cemented when the company’s managing director, Frederic Rouzaud, makes disparaging comments about rappers flaunting the product in music videos. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, "Travis Scott’s Cacti Seltzer and the Long History of Hip-Hop Beverages," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Over the past two years, a number of brands and retailers have aligned their product offering with a growing group of customers expressing not just disinterest but also disdain for fur. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, "Saks Fifth Avenue Will Stop Selling Fur by the End of 2022," 8 Apr. 2021 Audiences often turn to social networks because of distrust or disdain for institutions, politicians, or media. Jia Wertz, Forbes, "Unlock These Social Selling Secrets To Boost Your Brand," 21 Mar. 2021 Spend hours learning a recipe your family will disdain. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Home of the Week: We can’t shower this bath with enough praise," 26 Feb. 2021 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

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for disdain

disdain

noun

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

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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