Definition of contumely in English:


Line breaks: con|tumely
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒntjuːmɪli
, -tjuːmli/

noun (plural contumelies)

[mass noun] archaic
Insolent or insulting language or treatment: the Church should not be exposed to gossip and contumely
More example sentences
  • 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?
insolence, rudeness, impertinence, discourtesy
informal mud-slinging, bad-mouthing, bitchiness
archaic malapertness, billingsgate


late Middle English: from Old French contumelie, from Latin contumelia, perhaps from con- 'with' + tumere 'to swell'.

Definition of contumely in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day oleaginous
Pronunciation: ˌəʊlɪˈadʒɪnəs
rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily