noun (plural contumelies)[mass noun] • archaic
- Insolent or insulting language or treatment: the Church should not be exposed to gossip and contumelyMore example sentences
abuse, insults, slurs, aspersions, derision, invective, slander, defamation, denigration, disparagement, opprobrium, obloquy, vituperation, vilification; insolence, rudeness, impertinence, discourtesy• archaic malapertness, billingsgate
- They helped us understand what we were up against: the proud man's contumely, the insolence of office.
- You're never going to please everybody, but my feeling is there seems to have been less contumely than might have been expected, because we have taken people with us.
- And why - if they have actually talked to the police and prosecuting authorities - do they dismiss their ‘scepticism’ with such contumely?
late Middle English: from Old French contumelie, from Latin contumelia, perhaps from con- 'with' + tumere 'to swell'.