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

  • noun Contempt or disdain felt toward a person or object considered despicable or unworthy.
  • noun The expression of such an attitude in behavior or speech; derision.
  • noun The state of being despised or dishonored.
  • noun Archaic One spoken of or treated with contempt.
  • transitive verb To consider or treat as contemptible or unworthy.
  • transitive verb To reject or refuse with derision: synonym: despise.
  • transitive verb To consider or reject (doing something) as beneath one's dignity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Mockery; derision; contempt; disdain.
  • noun The expression of mockery, derision, contempt, or disdain; a scoff; a slight.
  • noun An object, of derision, contempt, or disdain; a thing to be or that is treated with contempt; a reproach or disgrace.
  • To hold in scorn or contempt; disdain; despise: as, to scorn a hypocrite; to scorn all meanness.
  • To bring to scorn; treat with scorn or contempt; make a mock of; deride.
  • To bring into insignificance or into contempt.
  • Synonyms Contemn, Despise, Scorn, Disdain. Contemn, scorn, and disdain less often apply to persons. In this they differ from the corresponding nouns and from despise, which apply with equal freedom to persons and things. Contemn is the generic term, expressing the fact; it is not so strong as contempt. To despise is to look down upon with strong contempt from a superior position of some sort. To scorn is to have an extreme and passionate contempt for. To disdain is to have a high-minded abhorrence of, or a proud and haughty contempt of. See arrogance.
  • To feel scorn or contempt.
  • To point with scorn; scoff; jeer: generally with at.

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

  • transitive verb To hold in extreme contempt; to reject as unworthy of regard; to despise; to contemn; to disdain.
  • transitive verb To treat with extreme contempt; to make the object of insult; to mock; to scoff at; to deride.
  • intransitive verb To scoff; to mock; to show contumely, derision, or reproach; to act disdainfully.
  • noun Extreme and lofty contempt; haughty disregard; that disdain which springs from the opinion of the utter meanness and unworthiness of an object.
  • noun An act or expression of extreme contempt.
  • noun An object of extreme disdain, contempt, or derision.
  • noun to regard as worthy of scorn or contempt; to disdain.
  • noun to deride; to make a mock of; to ridicule as contemptible.

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

  • verb transitive To feel or display contempt or disdain for something or somebody; to despise.
  • verb intransitive To scoff, express contempt
  • verb transitive To reject, turn down
  • noun uncountable Contempt or disdain.
  • noun countable A display of disdain; A slight.

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

  • verb look down on with disdain
  • verb reject with contempt
  • noun open disrespect for a person or thing
  • noun lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike


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

[Middle English, from Old French escarn, of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Alteration of Old French escarn (cognate with Portuguese escárnio, Spanish escarnio and Italian scherno).


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