from The Century Dictionary.

  • Indicating or expressive of contumely; haughtily offensive; contemptuous; insolent; rude and sarcastic: said of acts or things.
  • Haughty and contemptuous; disposed to taunt or to insult; insolent; supercilious: said of persons.
  • Reproachful; shameful; ignominious.
  • Synonyms 1 and 2. See list under abusive.

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

  • adjective Exhibiting contumely; rudely contemptuous; insolent; disdainful.
  • adjective obsolete Shameful; disgraceful.

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

  • adjective archaic, literary Rudely contemptuous; showing contumely; insolent or disdainful.

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

  • adjective arrogantly insolent


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin contumēliōsus ("insulting; abusive"), from contumēlia ("affront, abuse, insult").


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  • Every kind of contumelious reproach is heaped on the heads of the working men who dare to replace him when he strikes; and he does not scruple to use under such conditions weapons more convincing than the most opprobrious epithets.

    The Promise of American Life Herbert David Croly 1899

  • Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, writes today: "Sexism's alive and well on the right".

    Sound Politics: It's in the P-I 2007

  • When thou sufferest all this transport and sickness and trouble being enamoured of one who returneth thy passion, how would it be with thee if she whom thou lovest were contrary and contumelious, and thy case were discovered through her perfidy?

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • Joel Connelly, the P-I's contumelious liberal columnist, is troubled by Astroturf PACs which "hide the identities of people" paying for political campaigns.

    Sound Politics: It's in the P-I 2006

  • In the first scene, Madoc discovers an English plot to exhume his father's bones and discard them "In some unhallowed pit, with foul disgrace/And contumelious wrong" (Southey, Madoc 128).

    The Allure of the Same: Robert Southey's Welsh Indians and the Rhetoric of Good Colonialism 2006

  • Naturally, there are other sides to these issues, but you'll learn more from reading the BIAW's own analysis than you would from listening to the ignorant fulminations of Joni Balter and that other lazy contumelious liberal columnist.

    Sound Politics: Joni Balter: Washington's laziest editorial writer? 2006

  • For my part, I confess my contumelious self-confidence and insolence to man, as well as blasphemy to Heaven.

    Anne of Geierstein 2008

  • Meanwhile, Joel Connelly, the contumelious liberal columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is crying foul because the two highly qualified and judicially restrained challengers, Stephen Johnson and John Groen, are receiving campaign contributions from folks whom Connelly doesn't approve of: "Outside interests influencing court races".

    Sound Politics: Chief Justice Alexander is "Very Well Qualified" to legislate from the bench 2006

  • But I will urge these cavilling and contumelious arguments no farther, lest some physician should mistake me, and deny me physic when I am sick: for my part, I am well persuaded of physic: I can distinguish the abuse from the use, in this and many other arts and sciences:

    Anatomy of Melancholy 2007

  • Impunity maketh insolence; insolence, hatred; and hatred, an endeavour to pull down all oppressing and contumelious greatness, though with the ruin of the Commonwealth.

    Leviathan 2007


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  • "No one person knows everything - even the conceited and contumelious, neither any group nor individual is greater than the country." Oba Pius; The National Political Reform Conference; The Post (Cameroon); March 31, 2005.

    November 7, 2007