Definition of contemptuous in English:



  • Showing contempt; scornful.

    ‘she was intolerant and contemptuous of the majority of the human race’
    • ‘Those who aren't openly contemptuous often dismiss it as hilariously freakish.’
    • ‘The problem lies in a deeply disrespectful, even contemptuous, attitude towards women.’
    • ‘They are also vaguely contemptuous of his beady-eyed negotiations regarding fees and wardrobe allowances.’
    • ‘There was the abiding desire that they shouldn't play beneath themselves, be dishonourable or contemptuous of others.’
    • ‘They should be made to pay for their contemptuous and arrogant behaviour.’
    • ‘He evaluates the host culture from his own perspective and approaches it with a condescending or even contemptuous attitude.’
    • ‘It is contemptuous in the extreme, and such comments make it almost impossible to respond in a civilised fashion.’
    • ‘Savagery and barbarism were contemptuous expressions used by ‘civilised’ people.’
    • ‘He is ferociously contemptuous of people who distort the meaning of a document or the argument of a book or use the past as an adventure playground.’
    • ‘He was contemptuous and sneering in pointing out that we were in the wrong carriage.’
    • ‘His bitter frown transformed itself into a sneer and then a contemptuous smile.’
    • ‘They are contemptuous of fundamental human rights and jealous of any source of power apart from their own.’
    • ‘Even when you're contemptuous of such behavior, it is a fact of life.’
    • ‘Has any country ever had a more arrogant, insolent, contemptuous leader than we have?’
    • ‘Imagine then how easy it would be to become bitter, resentful, contemptuous, angry and revengeful?’
    • ‘He lacks the cold, contemptuous arrogance that would make Elizabeth - and us - hate him.’
    • ‘The kids themselves flout this rule with contemptuous ease, but if a teacher catches them, they might well be in for it.’
    • ‘They are either totally ignorant or contemptuous of the fundamentals of a civilised judicial system.’
    • ‘He was contemptuous of me for reminding him about reading the instructions - he didn't see the relevance.’
    • ‘Most of the men seem to be intimidated by her, or at least, contemptuous of her because she's disingenuous.’
    scornful, disdainful, disrespectful, insulting, insolent, full of contempt
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Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘despising law and order’): from medieval Latin contemptuosus, from Latin contemptus ‘contempt’, from contemnere (see contemn).