Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To regard with contempt or scorn.
  • transitive verb To dislike intensely; loathe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To look down upon; contemn; scorn; disdain.
  • To reject; throw away.
  • To look upon; contemplate.
  • Synonyms Contemn, Disdain, etc. See scorn.

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

  • transitive verb To look down upon with disfavor or contempt; to contemn; to scorn; to disdain; to have a low opinion or contemptuous dislike of.

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

  • verb To regard with contempt or scorn.

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

  • verb look down on with disdain

Etymologies

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

[Middle English despisen, from Old French despire, despis-, from Latin dēspicere : dē-, de- + specere, to look; see spek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English despisen, from Old French despis-, stem of despire, from Latin despicere, present active infinitive of dēspiciō ("I look down upon, despise, scorn"), from de ("down") + speciō ("I look at, behold").

Examples

Comments

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  • We tend to think of the word despise as being synonymous with hate rather than as an attitude in which something is regarded as of negligible importance. Moreover, to despise also means to hold oneself above that which is unworthy.

    February 16, 2011