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 But come game time, Bristowe floated in a white dress, her blond hair unleashed, Chigvintsev's shirt showing utter disdain for buttons. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'DWTS' recap: 'Bachelorette' Kaitlyn Bristowe channels personal tragedy, two contestants cruelly cut down," 17 Nov. 2020 And when the prime minister accidentally sits at a chair reserved for the queen, Princess Margaret doesn’t even try to mask her disdain. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Crown: What Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher’s Relationship Was Really Like," 15 Nov. 2020 Authoritarian governments in Brazil, the Philippines, Hungary and beyond have relied on cues from the Trump administration, including its disdain for the virus and necessary preventive measures. Phyllis Bennis, Star Tribune, "The lame-duck Congress has a lot of work to do," 9 Nov. 2020 Four years of near constant battles with the mainstream media Trump despised and a deluge of toxic tweets from critics who returned her disdain. Maria Puente, USA Today, "What’s next for soon-to-be former first lady Melania Trump?," 8 Nov. 2020 But the referendum has been met with disdain by pro-democracy protesters who forced longtime president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to resign last year, and have continued their demonstrations since. Tarek El-tablawy, Bloomberg.com, "Algerians Rebuke Government With Record Low Referendum Turnout," 2 Nov. 2020 If someone avoids taxes but provides financial support to other institutions or entities that are meaningful to the tax avoider but also produce benefits for society, then the virtuous individual may view this behavior with less disdain. Erin Bass, The Conversation, "Is tax avoidance ethical? Asking for a friend," 30 Oct. 2020 Those would likely include the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte has racked up an abysmal human rights record while showing open disdain for foreign leaders who meddle in other countries’ domestic affairs. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "It’s the world according to Trump: Could Biden turn back the clock?," 16 Oct. 2020 Hoffman, an irascible 74-year-old with blatant disdain for the defendants, ordered Seale restrained. Jeanne Dorin Mcdowell, Smithsonian Magazine, "The True Story of the ‘Trial of the Chicago 7’," 15 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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. Arkansas Online, "Doctors may be better equipped to handle latest virus surge," 10 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, chicagotribune.com, "COVID-19 is getting a lot worse, but doctors are better equipped to handle the latest virus surge," 10 Nov. 2020 But over the course of the virus’ spread, Trump’s relationship with Fauci, who has worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations since 1984, has vacillated from support to disdain. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, "Here's a timeline of President Donald Trump's and Dr. Anthony Fauci's relationship," 28 Oct. 2020 Susan Collins of Maine is the Senator many conservatives love to disdain, but this week her re-election to a fifth term in a Northeast state may save the Republican majority. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Susan Collins and Majorities," 5 Nov. 2020 Many minorities view law enforcement with suspicion, distrust and in some cases even disdain, as research shows minorities frequently report police disproportionately single them out because of their race or ethnicity. Keith Jenkins, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Bearcats' Darius Harper wants to be a criminal justice reform 'game changer'," 24 Oct. 2020 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

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

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Disdain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disdain. Accessed 25 Nov. 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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