Definition of derision in English:



mass noun
  • Contemptuous ridicule or mockery.

    ‘my stories were greeted with derision and disbelief’
    • ‘It was the supreme anthem of renunciation, of scorn, of derision at the pretensions of the ungifted and the insensitive.’
    • ‘At this there was a snort of derision from her friend but she continued unaware, lost in the imagination of these various events.’
    • ‘As to the text, I fear the reader's snorts of derision will begin early on.’
    • ‘Contempt and derision were now poured not upon the heretical supporters of change, but upon their orthodox opponents.’
    • ‘Anything less than a win will be greeted with howls of derision by a public who have grown sick of the culture of rugby mediocrity.’
    • ‘I've learned to treat their threats with the scorn and derision they deserve.’
    • ‘He presented this idea in a talk to the London Chemical Society in 1866, only to be greeted with derision.’
    • ‘She would never have stood by while he became a figure of scorn and derision.’
    • ‘Moreover, virtually every target of the film is legitimate and deserving of scorn and derision.’
    • ‘It is very easy for critics to pour scorn and derision on the efforts of people just trying to do what is right.’
    • ‘Serious debate is not welcome in the mainstream; dissent is treated with derision and contempt, or ignored.’
    • ‘Much derision has greeted the claim by some of those in the photographs that they were inadequately trained.’
    • ‘It was greeted with derision - there is really no other word for it - around the country.’
    • ‘He thought he heard a snort of derision from Sean but he had the attention of the rest of them.’
    • ‘I, among others, have responded to these suggestions with scorn and derision.’
    • ‘Jason snorted in derision and crossed his arms over his chest, looking at her scathingly.’
    • ‘It was confined to the elite on the grounds of their alleged virtue - and it often drew scorn and derision.’
    • ‘Several journalists began first to sniff, then to snort and finally to chuckle their derision.’
    • ‘The name itself connotes derision and contempt for the inhabitants of the compound.’
    • ‘If you have even the slightest degree of cynicism in your nature, it has moments that will make you howl with derision and disbelief.’
    mockery, ridicule, jeering, jeers, sneers, scoffing, jibing, taunts
    View synonyms


  • hold (or have) in derision

    • archaic Regard with mockery.

      • ‘It is a scandal - and surely the deepest of ironies - that he should be ignored, scorned or held in derision in the very places where knowledge and wisdom are deemed to be sought and taught.’
      • ‘Those who offer Him silver and gold shall be had in derision.’
      • ‘Only a choice few found favour in the marketplace, and, for the sake of their success, they are held in derision today as ‘common’.’
      • ‘Again, there is comedy as she undergoes training for her royal role and tries to reconcile royalty with being held in derision by her school contemporaries.’
      • ‘The mouth of one with understanding is praised by a man, but the dull of heart is held in derision.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin derisio(n-), from deridere ‘scoff at’.