- 1The feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration: Pam stared at the girl with total contempt he wouldn’t answer a woman he held in such contemptMore example sentences
- Most Britons greeted this fraud with the scorn and contempt it deserves.
- Just another scenario where caring for someone close to me gets me nothing by contempt, scorn and hate in return.
- Later, I decided that I deserved his contempt, and I hated myself for what I had written.
- 1.1Disregard for something that should be considered: this action displays an arrogant contempt for the wishes of the majorityMore example sentences
- It observes that the disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts that have outraged the conscience of mankind.
- Aquinas believed good law must be enforceable, otherwise it would be disregarded and risk causing contempt for all laws.
- Demands for respect while showing contempt for the religions and cultures of others has denied them any empathy for their perceived grievances.
- 1.2 (also contempt of court) The offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law and its officers: [count noun]: when he was found to have lied to the House this was a contemptMore example sentences
- Failure to do so would leave the health professional in contempt of court, an offence punishable by imprisonment.
- The relevant sanction is either being held in contempt of court or being prosecuted under the criminal law.
- Earlier this year Dr Smith was found in contempt of court by the High Court.
- Utterly worthless or despicable: tawdry trash that is beneath contemptMore example sentences
- But he's unworthy of mention; beneath contempt.
- He said: ‘Stealing from a dying woman is beneath contempt.’
- Any journalist, politician, general, writer, political operative or other so called public intellectual who can cling to such a statement is, equally, beneath contempt.
hold someone in contempt
- Judge someone to have committed the offence of contempt of court: the advocate was held in contempt for subpoenaing the judgeMore example sentences
- Ignore a court summons and you will be held in contempt and possibly fined or even jailed.
- The judge held me in contempt, and I report to Cumberland minimum-security prison tomorrow.
- If the agency finds out that you've spoken to a reporter or even just told your friends or family about your grievance, you could be held in contempt of court, fined or imprisoned.
hold someone/thing in contempt
- Consider someone or something to be unworthy of respect or attention: the speed limit is held in contempt by many driversMore example sentences
- It's a matter of being willing to be aggressive against people who quite publicly hold you in contempt whether you agree with them or not.
- They have come to the conclusion that they are going to be screwed regardless of which party is in power, and they prefer to be screwed by a group that doesn't appear to hold them in contempt.
- Probably should have let him hold me in contempt, now that I think about it.
late Middle English: from Latin contemptus, from contemnere (see contemn).