Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Contempt or disdain felt toward a person or object considered despicable or unworthy.
  • n. The expression of such an attitude in behavior or speech; derision.
  • n. One spoken of or treated with contempt.
  • transitive v. To consider or treat as contemptible or unworthy.
  • transitive v. To reject or refuse with derision. See Synonyms at despise.
  • intransitive v. To express contempt; scoff.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To feel or display contempt or disdain for something or somebody; to despise.
  • v. To scoff, express contempt
  • v. To reject, turn down
  • n. Contempt or disdain.
  • n. A display of disdain; A slight.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Extreme and lofty contempt; haughty disregard; that disdain which springs from the opinion of the utter meanness and unworthiness of an object.
  • n. An act or expression of extreme contempt.
  • n. An object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision.
  • intransitive v. To scoff; to mock; to show contumely, derision, or reproach; to act disdainfully.
  • transitive v. To hold in extreme contempt; to reject as unworthy of regard; to despise; to contemn; to disdain.
  • transitive v. To treat with extreme contempt; to make the object of insult; to mock; to scoff at; to deride.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To hold in scorn or contempt; disdain; despise: as, to scorn a hypocrite; to scorn all meanness.
  • To bring to scorn; treat with scorn or contempt; make a mock of; deride.
  • To bring into insignificance or into contempt.
  • Synonyms Contemn, Despise, Scorn, Disdain. Contemn, scorn, and disdain less often apply to persons. In this they differ from the corresponding nouns and from despise, which apply with equal freedom to persons and things. Contemn is the generic term, expressing the fact; it is not so strong as contempt. To despise is to look down upon with strong contempt from a superior position of some sort. To scorn is to have an extreme and passionate contempt for. To disdain is to have a high-minded abhorrence of, or a proud and haughty contempt of. See arrogance.
  • To feel scorn or contempt.
  • To point with scorn; scoff; jeer: generally with at.
  • n. Mockery; derision; contempt; disdain.
  • n. The expression of mockery, derision, contempt, or disdain; a scoff; a slight.
  • n. An object, of derision, contempt, or disdain; a thing to be or that is treated with contempt; a reproach or disgrace.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. look down on with disdain
  • v. reject with contempt
  • n. open disrespect for a person or thing
  • n. lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French escarn, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of Old French escarn (cognate with Portuguese escárnio, Spanish escarnio and Italian scherno). (Wiktionary)

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