vil·​i·​pend | \ ˈvi-lə-ˌpend How to pronounce vilipend (audio) \
vilipended; vilipending; vilipends

Definition of vilipend

transitive verb

1 : to hold or treat as of little worth or account : contemn
2 : to express a low opinion of : disparage

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Vilipend first appeared in English in the 15th century and comes to us through French from the Latin roots vilis, meaning "cheap" or "vile," plus pendere, meaning "to weigh" or "to estimate." These roots work in tandem to form a meaning of "to deem to be of little worth." Both of those roots have weighed in heavily as a source of common English words. Other "vilis" offspring include "vile" and "vilify," while "pendere" has spawned such terms as "append," "expend," and "dispense."

Examples of vilipend in a Sentence

one of those elitists who regularly vilipends popular culture

First Known Use of vilipend

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vilipend

Middle English, from Middle French vilipender, from Medieval Latin vilipendere, from Latin vilis + pendere to weigh, estimate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vilipend

Time Traveler for vilipend

Time Traveler

The first known use of vilipend was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about vilipend

Statistics for vilipend

Cite this Entry

“Vilipend.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on vilipend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vilipend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vilipend

Comments on vilipend

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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