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 (kŏn′to͞o-mə-lē, -tyo͞o-, -təm-lē)
n. pl. con·tu·me·lies
1. Rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance; insolence.
2. An insolent or arrogant remark or act.

[Middle English contumelie, from Old French, from Latin contumēlia; akin to contumāx, insolent.]

con′tu·me′li·ous (kŏn′tə-mē′lē-əs) adj.
con′tu·me′li·ous·ly adv.


n, pl -lies
1. scornful or insulting language or behaviour
2. a humiliating or scornful insult
[C14: from Latin contumēlia invective, from tumēre to swell, as with wrath]
contumelious adj
ˌcontuˈmeliously adv
ˌcontuˈmeliousness n


(ˈkɒn tʊ mə li, -tyʊ-; kənˈtu mə li, -ˈtyu-)

n., pl. -lies.
1. insulting display of contempt in words or actions; contemptuous or humiliating treatment.
2. a humiliating insult.
[1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin contumēlia, perhaps akin to contumāx (see contumacious)]
con`tu•me′li•ous (-ˈmi li əs) adj.
con`tu•me′li•ous•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contumely - a rude expression intended to offend or hurtcontumely - a rude expression intended to offend or hurt; "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"
discourtesy, disrespect - an expression of lack of respect
low blow - unscrupulous abuse
billingsgate, scurrility - foul-mouthed or obscene abuse
stinger, cut - a remark capable of wounding mentally; "the unkindest cut of all"
invective, vituperation, vitriol - abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will


1. An act that offends a person's sense of pride or dignity:


[ˈkɒntjʊmɪlɪ] N (frm) → contumelia f


n no pl (form: = abuse) → Schmähen nt (geh); (= insult)Schmähung f (geh)
References in periodicals archive ?
During the 1790s, Edmund Burke most powerfully associated revolutionary energies with mythological imagery of monstrous femininity, and one of the best-known scenes in his Reflections on the Revolution in France, which describes the crowd conducting the French King and Queen from Versailles to Paris, can serve as a reminder of the potency of such rhetorical conflation: "Their heads [those of two members of the palace guard] were stuck upon spears, and led the procession; whilst the royal captives who followed in the train were slowly moved along, amidst the horrid yells, and shrilling screams, and frantic dances, and infamous contumelies, and all the unutterable abominations of the furies of hell, in the abused shapes of the vilest of women." (25)
The new government - with its chief diplomat in the catbird seat, who began his career as a bouncer, and possesses the mien of an undertaker, on top of his contumelies - isn't exactly be in the running for a Nobel Peace Prize.
apostrophizes history only to dress it down with contumelies in the