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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(tr) formal to treat or regard with contempt; scorn
[C15: from Latin contemnere, from temnere to slight]
contemner, contemnor n
contemnible adj
conˈtemnibly adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


To regard with utter contempt and disdain:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Thy pompous delicacies I contemn, And count thy specious gifts no gifts, but guiles." To whom thus answered Satan, male-content:-- "That I have also power to give thou seest; If of that power I bring thee voluntary What I might have bestowed on whom I pleased, And rather opportunely in this place Chose to impart to thy apparent need, Why shouldst thou not accept it?
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.
I could not decide whether she desired the return of her husband because she loved him, or because she dreaded the tongue of scandal; and I was perturbed by the suspicion that the anguish of love contemned was alloyed in her broken heart with the pangs, sordid to my young mind, of wounded vanity.
She was embarrassed to discover that excitement at the proximity of Mr Clare's breath and eyes, which she had contemned in her companions, was intensified in herself; and as if fearful of betraying her secret she paltered with him at the last moment.
France enfeebled, the authority of her sovereign contemned, her nobles returning to their former turbulence and insolence, her enemies within her frontiers -- all proved the great Richelieu no longer in existence.
But all the Ambassadors of the next countries, which had been there before, and knew the fashions and manners of the Utopians, among whom they perceived no honour given to sumptuous and costly apparel, silks to be contemned, gold also to be infamed and reproachful, were wont to come thither in very homely and simple apparel.
For the opposite reason, Prince John hated and contemned the few Saxon families of consequence which subsisted in England, and omitted no opportunity of mortifying and affronting them; being conscious that his person and pretensions were disliked by them, as well as by the greater part of the English commons, who feared farther innovation upon their rights and liberties, from a sovereign of John's licentious and tyrannical disposition.
His place is occupied by the desire of the master 'to totalitarize' his own I and do it as much as possible in order to contemn his (master's) life, to transform it into a fetish, into an ordinary incident in the process of the self-development and self-termination of spirit.