dis·​mis·​sive | \ dis-ˈmi-siv How to pronounce dismissive (audio) \

Definition of dismissive

: serving to dismiss or reject someone or something : having or showing a disdainful attitude toward someone or something regarded as unworthy of serious attention He responded to the question with a dismissive wave. In the past, Westerberg had been dismissive of Bob's playing, but he says relistening to the early records gave him a new perspective.— Bob Weir

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Other Words from dismissive

dismissively adverb
Writer Tom Fontana's violent, realistic drama debuted five years ago and uninitiated viewers still dismissively call it "that prison show on HBO." — Ian Rothkerch These are not people who speak dismissively of the brain's capabilities. — Brad Leithauser
dismissiveness noun
The work of feminist scholars, both individually and collectively, has been greeted in some quarters with impatience, irritation, dismissiveness, even contempt. — Cullen Murphy

Examples of dismissive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

July 14, 2019 Trump’s jab about Pelosi is a response to her recent dismissive comments about Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, and Tlaib. Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "AOC & Other Congresswomen Call Out Trump’s Racist Subtweet," 15 July 2019 Hilliard and the crew can share pictures and videos to make the creatures more personable and stress the importance of keeping them a part of the ecosystem, but people tend to have a short attention span and be dismissive. Andrew Nicla, AZCentral.com, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 Your brother deserves a medal, not this dismissive abuse from your sister. The Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax Live: 'The cat is your guardian angel'," 25 Jan. 2019 Nancy Pelosi’s dismissive remarks to the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd started all this. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Dems in Disarray," 16 July 2019 From stinging social media posts to dismissive op-eds, naysayers deride volunteers as selfie-seeking, neocolonial narcissists who steal jobs from locals, create dependency, and do more harm than good. Ken Budd, National Geographic, "Does voluntourism help? Here are the questions to ask before you go," 27 June 2019 The mayors of France, then, were not pleased when Macron appeared before them and gave what some of them saw as a dismissive speech. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019 Across town, meanwhile, Jimmie’s stern, dismissive father (Rob Morgan) ekes out a living assembling bootleg DVDs in his Single Room Occupancy studio apartment. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Last Black Man in San Francisco' review: This old house tells a story," 11 June 2019 Others say employers’ dismissive handling of their applications or interviews is leaving them cold. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "Job-Interview Etiquette Isn’t Just for the Applicants," 8 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dismissive.' 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 dismissive

1645, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for dismissive

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dismissive

The first known use of dismissive was in 1645

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More Definitions for dismissive



English Language Learners Definition of dismissive

: refusing to think about or consider something or someone
: showing that you do not think something or someone is worth thinking about or considering

More from Merriam-Webster on dismissive

Nglish: Translation of dismissive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dismissive for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dismissive

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


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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