contemptible

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word contemptible different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of contemptible are despicable, pitiable, scurvy, and sorry. While all these words mean "arousing or deserving scorn," contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values.

a contemptible liar

When is despicable a more appropriate choice than contemptible?

In some situations, the words despicable and contemptible are roughly equivalent. However, despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation.

a despicable crime

When would pitiable be a good substitute for contemptible?

While in some cases nearly identical to contemptible, pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity.

a pitiable attempt at tragedy

How are the words scurvy and despicable related as synonyms of contemptible?

Scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust.

a scurvy crew of hangers-on

When might sorry be a better fit than contemptible?

The synonyms sorry and contemptible are sometimes interchangeable, but sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness.

this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car

Thesaurus Entries Near contemptible

Cite this Entry

“Contemptible.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/contemptible. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

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