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Syllabification: con·temp·tu·ous
Pronunciation: /kənˈtempCHo͞oəs

Definition of contemptuous in English:


Showing contempt; scornful: she was intolerant and contemptuous of the majority of the human race
More example sentences
  • Has any country ever had a more arrogant, insolent, contemptuous leader than we have?
  • The problem lies in a deeply disrespectful, even contemptuous, attitude towards women.
  • They should be made to pay for their contemptuous and arrogant behaviour.
scornful, disdainful, disrespectful, insulting, insolent, derisive, mocking, sneering, scoffing, withering, scathing, snide;
condescending, supercilious, haughty, proud, superior, arrogant, dismissive, aloof


mid 16th century (in the sense 'despising law and order'): from medieval Latin contemptuosus, from Latin contemptus 'contempt', from contemnere (see contemn).



Example sentences
  • Thompson, who had far exceeded his allotted time, frowned contemptuously.
  • Over at the Treasury, feeble excuses from Downing Street that the Prime Minister had been misinterpreted were being contemptuously dismissed.
  • They could just wave them aside contemptuously, as not meriting discussion - too outside the mainstream.


Example sentences
  • This apolitical predisposition to mock precisely the kinds of people who'll actually pay to watch this kind of film is the height of contemptuousness.
  • Their contemptuousness colors the debate anyway, especially in the press.
  • First, women should try to present their complaints in a calm way: Research shows that men are more likely to listen if their partners tone down hostility and avoid contemptuousness.

Words that rhyme with contemptuous


Definition of contemptuous in:

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Word of the day apathetic
Pronunciation: apəˈθɛtɪk
showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern