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

  • adj. Manifesting or feeling contempt; scornful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. showing contempt; expressing disdain; showing a lack of respect.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Manifesting or expressing contempt or disdain; scornful; haughty; insolent; disdainful.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Manifesting or expressing contempt or disdain; scornful: said of actions or feelings: as, contemptuous language or manner.
  • Apt to despise; contumelious; haughty; insolent: said of persons.
  • Worthy of contempt; contemptible.
  • Synonyms Disdainful, supercilious, cavalier, contumelious.

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

  • adj. expressing extreme contempt


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The authors of such works are regarded as deviant, hostile to "ordinary" readers, just plain contemptuous of good order in matters of storytelling and style.

    Style in Fiction

  • He accepted the situation, happy in the gentle and protecting affection the girl showed him, fitfully enough, for she had, as she called it, her bad days when she used to visit her mother and remain long hours in the riverside hut, coming out as inscrutable as ever, but with a contemptuous look and a short word ready to answer any of his speeches.

    Almayer's Folly

  • She looked at him and tried to make her expression contemptuous, but he only laughed.

    Flappers and Philosophers

  • Then the scene shifted to Ethiopia, where Mussolini, I think in contemptuous defiance of the entire world drove with his bayonet and guns the King of Kings, who went begging for his throne to all places.

    India's Fight For Freedom

  • The keeper made no remark, but in contemptuous silence he rattled the dog's chain and the animal barked loudly.

    The Mother

  • The man received the papers, while the crowd looked on, muttering in contemptuous undertones.

    Jacqueline of the Carrier-Pigeons

  • He strode on rapidly, his shoulders squared, his expression contemptuous, challenging; but within he was possessed by an apprehension increasing at every step.

    The Three Black Pennys A Novel

  • Billy laughed in contemptuous pride of youth and brawn.

    Chapter 13

  • Hawker's, which she did in short contemptuous sentences.

    The Third Violet

  • Do not shun him in contemptuous silence, but tell him why he is so avoided (Mt 18: 15; 1Th 5: 14).

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible


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