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 In a statement, voting rights advocates expressed disdain towards the state legislature for not providing county boards of elections and voters enough time to transition to a vote-by-mail primary. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: The fate of unspent presidential campaign cash," 29 Apr. 2020 Modern scholars, and the public at large, understandably view this idea with disdain. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Complicated Legacy of Herbert Spencer, the Man Who Coined ‘Survival of the Fittest’," 29 Apr. 2020 His opponents claimed his work showed disdain for American institutions. Marcos Breton, sacbee, "Before he died last week, this man changed how we vote in California. Do you know him? | The Sacramento Bee," 18 Mar. 2018 To show their disdain for the political infighting, Kosovars banged pots and pans from their windows on several recent days. New York Times, "Coronavirus Helps Bring Down Kosovo’s Government, With Nudge From U.S.," 25 Mar. 2020 For the website Barstool Sports, founded by Patriots fans, there’s a special disdain for Goodell, whom the site holds in disregard particularly for his treatment of the Tom Brady and the team in the Deflategate controversy. SI.com, "A History of Football in 100 Objects," 28 Aug. 2019 President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly shown his utter disdain for the rule of law, the FBI and the Justice Department, has clearly put a big ass target on Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s back. Angela Helm, The Root, "Head of Russia Probe Says He’s Ready to Go If the President Gives Him the Boot," 14 Apr. 2018 President Trump has frequently and publicly expressed disdain for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Silicon Valley companies are rolling out coronavirus stimulus check services," 16 Apr. 2020 Peter’s mom, Barbara Weber—who repeatedly expressed disdain for Peter’s final choice on live, national television—also posted a cryptic, shady post on social media. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Peter Weber and Madison Prewett’s Breakup Wouldn’t Be Complete Without Shade From Barb," 13 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 President Trump was not the first Republican politician to claim to disdain the swamp, after all. Jack Butler, National Review, "CPAC and the Swamp," 28 Feb. 2020 But the author disdains parallels between her novels and contemporary politics. Dan Stewart, Time, "Hilary Mantel on Bringing Thomas Cromwell to 21st-Century Readers One Last Time," 6 Mar. 2020 On the other side of the country, the Jordan Cove Pipeline, which will cut through southern Oregon, is largely disdained by the tribal nations along its route. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Next Standing Rock Is Everywhere," 7 Oct. 2019 And those characteristics track pretty darn closely with the patriarchy's tendency to elevate men and disdain women. Zoe Fenson, TheWeek, "Dogs are from Mars, cats are from Venus," 28 Mar. 2020 In all these cases, the poverty-stricken are disdained as undeserving of compassion or assistance. Mark R. Rank, Washington Post, "Revealing the devastating costs of childhood poverty," 14 Feb. 2020 Audiences evinced a particular distaste for any works featuring the German language, and disdained pieces by living or nationalistic Germans. The Economist, "The classical musicians who were enlisted in the cold war," 12 Dec. 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

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 31 May. 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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