Definition of contemptuous in English:



  • Showing contempt; scornful:

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