Definition of derision in English:



  • [mass noun] Contemptuous ridicule or mockery.

    ‘my stories were greeted with derision and disbelief’
    • ‘At this there was a snort of derision from her friend but she continued unaware, lost in the imagination of these various events.’
    • ‘It was the supreme anthem of renunciation, of scorn, of derision at the pretensions of the ungifted and the insensitive.’
    • ‘He presented this idea in a talk to the London Chemical Society in 1866, only to be greeted with derision.’
    • ‘It was confined to the elite on the grounds of their alleged virtue - and it often drew scorn and derision.’
    • ‘The name itself connotes derision and contempt for the inhabitants of the compound.’
    • ‘As to the text, I fear the reader's snorts of derision will begin early on.’
    • ‘It was greeted with derision - there is really no other word for it - around the country.’
    • ‘I've learned to treat their threats with the scorn and derision they deserve.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He thought he heard a snort of derision from Sean but he had the attention of the rest of them.’
    • ‘Serious debate is not welcome in the mainstream; dissent is treated with derision and contempt, or ignored.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Contempt and derision were now poured not upon the heretical supporters of change, but upon their orthodox opponents.’
    • ‘Much derision has greeted the claim by some of those in the photographs that they were inadequately trained.’
    • ‘If you have even the slightest degree of cynicism in your nature, it has moments that will make you howl with derision and disbelief.’
    • ‘It is very easy for critics to pour scorn and derision on the efforts of people just trying to do what is right.’
    • ‘Several journalists began first to sniff, then to snort and finally to chuckle their derision.’
    mockery, ridicule, jeering, jeers, sneers, scoffing, jibing, taunts
    disdain, disparagement, denigration, disrespect, pooh-poohing
    sneering, scorn, scornfulness, taunting, insults
    contempt, vilification, obloquy
    lampooning, satire
    ragging, teasing, chaffing, raillery
    View synonyms


  • hold (or have) in derision

    • archaic Regard with mockery.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Only a choice few found favour in the marketplace, and, for the sake of their success, they are held in derision today as ‘common’.’
      • ‘Those who offer Him silver and gold shall be had in derision.’
      • ‘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.’


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