Definition of disdain in English:

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Pronunciation: /disˈdān/


The feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect; contempt: her upper lip curled in disdain an aristocratic disdain for manual labor
More example sentences
  • Certainly, she's arrogant and her disdain for them is palpable.
  • He spoke with such fondness of the tuna melt, that despite my disdain for tinned tuna, I felt compelled to try one.
  • Despite his disdain for much about the town at the time, the rector was optimistic about the future.
contempt, scorn, scornfulness, contemptuousness, derision, disrespect;
disparagement, condescension, superciliousness, hauteur, haughtiness, arrogance, snobbishness, indifference, distaste, dislike, disgust


[with object]
1Consider to be unworthy of one’s consideration: gamblers disdain four-horse races
More example sentences
  • Dismissed by the press, disdained by opponents, Cassius Clay kept on winning.
  • Aside from mushrooms, fungi are widely disdained by the agriculture industry.
  • Although accustomed to supporting others through their physical pain, Sam disdains emotional intimacy ‘because it hurts.’
scorn, deride, pour scorn on, regard with contempt, sneer at, sniff at, curl one's lip at, look down one's nose at, look down on;
informal turn up one's nose at, pooh-pooh
1.1Refuse or reject (something) out of feelings of pride or superiority: she remained standing, pointedly disdaining his invitation to sit down [with infinitive]: he disdained to discuss the matter further
More example sentences
  • Snape was sitting at the desk, but he disdained to even so much as lay a finger on the keypad.
  • He ‘distained to mingle in the intrigues of court life’ and found his chief occupation in the formation of his collection.
  • Perigryne felt his gaze upon her once again, but she disdained to move from her position.
spurn, reject, refuse, rebuff, disregard, ignore, snub;
decline, turn down, brush aside


Middle English: from Old French desdeign (noun), desdeignier (verb), based on Latin dedignari, from de- (expressing reversal) + dignari 'consider worthy' (from dignus 'worthy').

  • deign from Middle English:

    To deign is to do something that you consider beneath your dignity, and the word is bound up with ‘dignity’. It goes back to Latin dignare ‘to judge to be worthy’, which was formed from dignus ‘worthy’, the source of dignity (Middle English), and dignify (Late Middle English), and the negative disdain (Middle English) ‘consider unworthy’.

Words that rhyme with disdain

abstain, appertain, arcane, arraign, ascertain, attain, Bahrain, bane, blain, brain, Braine, Cain, Caine, campaign, cane, cinquain, chain, champagne, champaign, Champlain, Charmaine, chicane, chow mein, cocaine, Coleraine, Coltrane, complain, constrain, contain, crane, Dane, deign, demesne, demi-mondaine, detain, domain, domaine, drain, Duane, Dwane, Elaine, entertain, entrain, explain, fain, fane, feign, gain, Germaine, germane, grain, humane, Hussein, inane, Jain, Jane, Jermaine, Kane, La Fontaine, lain, lane, legerdemain, Lorraine, main, Maine, maintain, mane, mise en scène, Montaigne, moraine, mundane, obtain, ordain, Paine, pane, pertain, plain, plane, Port-of-Spain, profane, rain, Raine, refrain, reign, rein, retain, romaine, sane, Seine, Shane, Sinn Fein, skein, slain, Spain, Spillane, sprain, stain, strain, sustain, swain, terrain, thane, train, twain, Ujjain, Ukraine, underlain, urbane, vain, vane, vein, Verlaine, vicereine, wain, wane, Wayne

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·dain

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