Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn.
  • noun The state of being despised or dishonored.
  • noun Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of despising; the feeling caused by what is considered to be mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn for what is mean.
  • noun The state of being despised; shame; disgrace.
  • noun In law, disobedience to, or open disrespect of, the rules, orders, or process of a court or of a legislative assembly, or a disturbance or interruption of its proceedings: called in full, when used in relation to judicial authority, contempt of court.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of contemning or despising; the feeling with which one regards that which is esteemed mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
  • noun The state of being despised; disgrace; shame.
  • noun An act or expression denoting contempt.
  • noun (Law) Disobedience of the rules, orders, or process of a court of justice, or of rules or orders of a legislative body; disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent language or behavior in presence of a court, tending to disturb its proceedings, or impair the respect due to its authority.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The state of contemning; the feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn, disdain.
  • noun The state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace.
  • noun law Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.

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

  • noun open disrespect for a person or thing
  • noun a manner that is generally disrespectful and contemptuous
  • noun lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike
  • noun a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin contemptus, past participle of contemnere, to despise; see contemn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin contemptus ("scorn"), from contemnere ("to scorn, despise"), from com- + temnere ("to despise").

Examples

  • They make him express a vulgar scorn at Polonius which utterly degrades his gentility, and which no explanation can render palatable; they make him show contempt, and curl up the nose at Ophelia’s father, —contempt in its very grossest and most hateful form; but they get applause by it: it is natural, people say; that is, the words are scornful, and the actor expresses scorn, and that they can judge of: but why so much scorn, and of that sort, they never think of asking.

    On the Tragedies of Shakspere Considered with Reference to Their Fitness for Stage Representation

  • Perhaps as the American framers conceived of the operation of their system, a wide spread and deeply felt, national, sense of repugnance, a feeling that democratic and constitutional values are being held in contempt is enough in constitutional terms to self-define conduct as “high crime and misdemeanour.”

    Balkinization

  • In hindsight, my contempt is actually mixed with pity.

    Think Progress » Lesbian Constance McMillen excluded from alternative prom organized by students’ parents.

  • You seem to find it easy to badmouth religion and tradition. your contempt is almost funny if you did not take it so serious. your posts are bullshit and you are bullshit.

    Think Progress » VIDEO: Inhofe ‘Very Proud’ There’s Never Been a Homosexual Relationship in the ‘Recorded History of Our Family’

  • A number of incidents lately made me realize that even we enlightened liberal types still fear that this contempt is a factor in our relationships, even when it's not.

    Chaos Theory:

  • A number of incidents lately made me realize that even we enlightened liberal types still fear that this contempt is a factor in our relationships, even when it's not.

    Getting the shivers.

  • On November 6 this year, Amnesty launched an international campaign to end what it described as contempt for human rights in

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Public Prosecutor (Krause), who has been deeply offended by the slur cast upon his judgment through the orders from Pretoria to keep the accused in prison instead of out on bail, was more inclined to defend than to prosecute and showed an extraordinary desire to incriminate either the British Vice-Consul or the South African League for what he termed contempt of court in connection with the publication of certain affidavits in the _Star_. '

    The Transvaal from Within A Private Record of Public Affairs

  • The word "contempt" has become an important part of recent literature on relationships in the civilian world.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • Thus comes what I describe as his contempt for public opinion, and I do not think that is too strong a word.

    TPMCafe

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