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Related to contemn: despised, disdains


tr.v. con·temned, con·temn·ing, con·temns
To view with contempt; despise. See Synonyms at despise.

[Middle English contempnen, to slight, from Latin contemnere : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + temnere, to despise.]

con·temn′er (-tĕm′ər, -tĕm′nər) n.


(tr) formal to treat or regard with contempt; scorn
[C15: from Latin contemnere, from temnere to slight]
contemner, contemnor n
contemnible adj
conˈtemnibly adv



to treat or regard with contempt.
[1375–1425; late Middle English contempnen (< Middle French) < Latin contemnere to despise, scorn =con- con- + temnere to slight; compare contempt]
con•temn′er (-ˈtɛm ər, -ˈtɛm nər) con•tem′nor (-nər) n.


Past participle: contemned
Gerund: contemning

I contemn
you contemn
he/she/it contemns
we contemn
you contemn
they contemn
I contemned
you contemned
he/she/it contemned
we contemned
you contemned
they contemned
Present Continuous
I am contemning
you are contemning
he/she/it is contemning
we are contemning
you are contemning
they are contemning
Present Perfect
I have contemned
you have contemned
he/she/it has contemned
we have contemned
you have contemned
they have contemned
Past Continuous
I was contemning
you were contemning
he/she/it was contemning
we were contemning
you were contemning
they were contemning
Past Perfect
I had contemned
you had contemned
he/she/it had contemned
we had contemned
you had contemned
they had contemned
I will contemn
you will contemn
he/she/it will contemn
we will contemn
you will contemn
they will contemn
Future Perfect
I will have contemned
you will have contemned
he/she/it will have contemned
we will have contemned
you will have contemned
they will have contemned
Future Continuous
I will be contemning
you will be contemning
he/she/it will be contemning
we will be contemning
you will be contemning
they will be contemning
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been contemning
you have been contemning
he/she/it has been contemning
we have been contemning
you have been contemning
they have been contemning
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been contemning
you will have been contemning
he/she/it will have been contemning
we will have been contemning
you will have been contemning
they will have been contemning
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been contemning
you had been contemning
he/she/it had been contemning
we had been contemning
you had been contemning
they had been contemning
I would contemn
you would contemn
he/she/it would contemn
we would contemn
you would contemn
they would contemn
Past Conditional
I would have contemned
you would have contemned
he/she/it would have contemned
we would have contemned
you would have contemned
they would have contemned
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.contemn - look down on with disdain; "He despises the people he has to work for"; "The professor scorns the students who don't catch on immediately"
detest, hate - dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards; "I hate Mexican food"; "She detests politicians"
look down on - regard with contempt; "the new neighbor looks down on us because our house is very modest"


To regard with utter contempt and disdain:
References in classic literature ?
The women of the island have abundance of vivacity: they, contemn their husbands, and are exceedingly fond of strangers, whereof there is always a considerable number from the continent below, attending at court, either upon affairs of the several towns and corporations, or their own particular occasions, but are much despised, because they want the same endowments.
For indeed, every sect of them, hath a diverse posture, or cringe by themselves, which cannot but move derision in worldlings, and depraved politics, who are apt to contemn holy things.
We contemn in turn every other gift of men of the world; but the habit even in little and the least matters of not appealing to any but our own sense of propriety, constitutes the foundation of all chivalry.
He thought to himself that there could be no greater torture in the world than at the same time to love and to contemn.
It is so pleasing to one's 'vanity, and so safe, to be of the master's side when he assails those vices and foibles which are inherent in the system of things, and which one can contemn with vast applause so long as one does not attempt to undo the conditions they spring from.
For I esteem those names of men so poor, Who could do mighty things, and could contemn Riches, though offered from the hand of kings.
I called Will Atkins again, and asked him; but the poor fellow fell immediately into tears, and told us he had said something to her of all those things, but that he was himself so wicked a creature, and his own conscience so reproached him with his horrid, ungodly life, that he trembled at the apprehensions that her knowledge of him should lessen the attention she should give to those things, and make her rather contemn religion than receive it; but he was assured, he said, that her mind was so disposed to receive due impressions of all those things, and that if I would but discourse with her, she would make it appear to my satisfaction that my labour would not be lost upon her.
In short, we are madly erring, through self-esteem, in believing man, in either his temporal or future destinies, to be of more moment in the universe than that vast "clod of the valley" which he tills and contemns, and to which he denies a soul for no more profound reason than that he does not behold it in operation.
Then, Adeimantus, I said, the worthy disciples of philosophy will be but a small remnant: perchance some noble and well-educated person, detained by exile in her service, who in the absence of corrupting influences remains devoted to her; or some lofty soul born in a mean city, the politics of which he contemns and neglects; and there may be a gifted few who leave the arts, which they justly despise, and come to her;--or peradventure there are some who are restrained by our friend Theages' bridle; for everything in the life of Theages conspired to divert him from philosophy; but ill-health kept him away from politics.