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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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
He thought to himself that there could be no greater torture in the world than at the same time to love and to contemn.
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.
Just as Orwell identified the metropolitan intelligentsia as the only group to contemn "the general patriotism of the country"--"it is a strange fact," he commented, "but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box"--so today the great and the good disdain the majority's cry that mass immigration is destroying national identity, a concept those elites regard as at once fictitious and illegitimate and the embrace of which they chalk up to racism or, at best, to a misguided, anachronistic insularity.
I cannot laugh at, but rather pity, the fruitless journeys of pilgrims, nor contemn the miserable condition of friars; for, though misplaced in circumstances, there is something in it of devotion.
Eager to enact those principals with which her mind had been endued, Mary recalls Raymond's admonition that "[society's] mandates, often irrational, are, nevertheless, always despotic: contemn them, --the hazard is certain, and the penalty may be tremendous" (31).
Others referred to him with contemn as a mercenary as oppose to a missionary.
More akin to our way of looking at life was the spirit of the Middle Ages to whom heaven and the life of the next world was such a reality, that it became to them a part of the life upon the earth; which accordingly they loved and adorned, in spite of the ascetic doctrines of their formal creed, which bade them contemn it.
Roger Ascham, to take one important Elizabethan pedagogue and writer featured in Redmond's fine analyses, warned of how "subtle and secret papists at home procured bawdy books to be translated out of the Italian tongue, whereby over many young will and wits, allured to wantonness, so now boldly contemn all severe books that sound to honesty and godliness" (Ascham quoted by Redmond 2009, 30).