Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To descend to the level of one considered inferior; lower oneself. See Synonyms at stoop1.
  • intransitive v. To deal with people in a patronizingly superior manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To come down from one's superior position; to deign (to do something).
  • v. To treat (someone) as though inferior; to be patronizing (toward someone); to talk down (to someone).
  • v. To consent, agree.
  • v. To come down.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To stoop or descend; to let one's self down; to submit; to waive the privilege of rank or dignity; to accommodate one's self to an inferior.
  • intransitive v. To consent.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To descend from the superior position, rank, or dignity proper or usually accorded to one; voluntarily waive ceremony and assume equality with an inferior; be complaisant, yielding, or consenting in dealings with inferiors; deign.
  • To stoop or submit; be subject; yield.
  • To assent; agree.
  • To agree to submit or furnish; specify; vouchsafe: with upon: as, to condescend upon particulars.
  • Synonyms To stoop, deign, vouchsafe, bend.

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

  • v. behave in a patronizing and condescending manner
  • v. treat condescendingly
  • v. do something that one considers to be below one's dignity
  • v. debase oneself morally, act in an undignified, unworthy, or dishonorable way

Etymologies

Middle English condescenden, from Old French condescendre, from Late Latin condēscendere : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com- + dēscendere, to descend; see descend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English condescenden, from Old French condescendre, from Late Latin condescendere ("to let one's self down, stoop, condescend"), from Latin com- ("together") + descendere ("to come down"); see descend. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Will you, Wallace, again condescend to save a country that has treated you so ungratefully?

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • Does one of your name condescend to a dirty trade, and serve women that are not fit to tie a Douglas's shoe, and then come to me and talk of what's possible.

    Kirsteen: The Story of a Scotch Family Seventy Years Ago

  • Absolutely, Bellville, if I do condescend, which is yet extremely doubtful, we will live in the style of lovers; I hate the dull road of common marriages: no impertinent presuming on the name of husband; no saucy freedoms; I will continue to be courted, and shall expect as much flattery, and give myself as many scornful airs, as if I had never honored you with my hand.

    The history of Lady Julia Mandeville

  • This last deficiency the guide is in the habit of supplying -- to such as condescend to accept his assistance -- by fastening a leathern strap round his waist, and giving the end of it into the hand of the traveller.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 61, No. 376, February, 1847

  • To say that Coleridge would not 'condescend' would be

    The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1838

  • No, I won't "condescend" to serve as stenographer of who said what at the forum - nor did I expect that from bloggers here.

    Green Mountain Daily - Front Page

  • I won't "condescend" to serve as stenographer of who said what at the forum

    Green Mountain Daily - Front Page

  • I guess I would just challenge the notion that I "condescend" to my constituents, or otherwise treat them disrespectfully, whether in the course of constituent service (which I do a lot of) or in interpersonal communication, or over the radio.

    The Pink Flamingo

  • You continue to condescend without addressing the main points:

    The Volokh Conspiracy » More on Israeli Incompetence

  • He loved how he projected authority without insulting anyone, how he disregarded their babbled protests without appearing dismissive, how he bent them to his purpose without seeming to bully or condescend.

    O: A Presidential Novel

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