Share this entry

Share this page

condescend

Line breaks: con|des¦cend
Pronunciation: /kɒndɪˈsɛnd
 
/

Definition of condescend in English:

verb

[no object]
1Show that one feels superior; be patronizing: take care not to condescend to your reader
More example sentences
  • Because, simply, the producers of media for young people can't patronise or condescend to their audience.
  • Like Jennifer Tilly, Brad doesn't condescend to the material, as many actors might; he treats the character very seriously.
  • Kids demand shows that are smart and have lots of action and they remember if you condescend to them.
Synonyms
patronize, treat condescendingly, speak condescendingly to, speak haughtily to, talk down to, look down one's nose at, look down on, put down, be snobbish to
1.1 [with infinitive] Do something in such a way as to emphasize that one clearly regards it as below one’s dignity or level of importance: he condescended to see me at my hotel
More example sentences
  • Are the good folk of Peebles really going to vote for him because he condescended to spend 50 minutes in their midst?
  • He condescended to send something which had already appeared somewhere else.
  • Because of Soong's outstanding vote record in the 2000 presidential election, both he and his party members feel wronged by his having to condescend to accepting the vice presidential seat.
Synonyms
deign, stoop, descend, lower oneself, humble oneself, demean oneself, debase oneself, vouchsafe, think fit, see fit, deem it worthy of oneself, consent
informal come down from one's high horse

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'give way, defer'): from Old French condescendre, from ecclesiastical Latin condescendere, from con- 'together' + descendere 'descend'.

More
  • scale from (Middle English):

    English has three main words scale, two of which share an ancestry. The scale of fishes and reptiles has the same root as the scale used for weighing, and both are related to shell. The first scale is the one in the scales fall from someone's eyes, ‘someone is no longer deceived’. In the biblical Acts of the Apostles the expression describes how St Paul, blinded by his vision on the road to Damascus, was given his sight back by God. The weighing scale had the early sense ‘drinking cup’(a meaning which survives in South African English) which probably transferred to the pans of the scales. It comes from Old Norse skál ‘bowl’, also source of the drinking toast skol. The scale in music and measuring derives from Latin scala ‘ladder’, from the root of scandere ‘to climb’, an element in ascend, descend, and condescend, all Late Middle English. See also echelon, scan

Definition of condescend in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…