Definition of contemptuous in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈtɛm(p)tʃʊəs/


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, full of contempt;
derisory, derisive, mocking, sneering, jeering, scoffing, taunting, withering, scathing, snide;
condescending, supercilious, arrogant, cavalier, high and mighty, imperious, proud, vain
informal sniffy, snotty, on one's high horse
archaic contumelious



Pronunciation: /kənˈtɛmptʃʊəsnəs/
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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: con|temp¦tu|ous

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