Definition of contemptuous in US English:

contemptuous

adjective

  • Showing contempt; scornful.

    ‘she was intolerant and contemptuous of the majority of the human race’
    • ‘Savagery and barbarism were contemptuous expressions used by ‘civilised’ people.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The problem lies in a deeply disrespectful, even contemptuous, attitude towards women.’
    • ‘They should be made to pay for their contemptuous and arrogant behaviour.’
    • ‘He lacks the cold, contemptuous arrogance that would make Elizabeth - and us - hate him.’
    • ‘There was the abiding desire that they shouldn't play beneath themselves, be dishonourable or contemptuous of others.’
    • ‘They are either totally ignorant or contemptuous of the fundamentals of a civilised judicial system.’
    • ‘They are also vaguely contemptuous of his beady-eyed negotiations regarding fees and wardrobe allowances.’
    • ‘Those who aren't openly contemptuous often dismiss it as hilariously freakish.’
    • ‘Most of the men seem to be intimidated by her, or at least, contemptuous of her because she's disingenuous.’
    • ‘He was contemptuous and sneering in pointing out that we were in the wrong carriage.’
    • ‘It is contemptuous in the extreme, and such comments make it almost impossible to respond in a civilised fashion.’
    • ‘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 was contemptuous of me for reminding him about reading the instructions - he didn't see the relevance.’
    • ‘He evaluates the host culture from his own perspective and approaches it with a condescending or even contemptuous attitude.’
    • ‘Even when you're contemptuous of such behavior, it is a fact of life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The kids themselves flout this rule with contemptuous ease, but if a teacher catches them, they might well be in for it.’
    scornful, disdainful, disrespectful, insulting, insolent, full of contempt
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘despising law and order’): from medieval Latin contemptuosus, from Latin contemptus ‘contempt’, from contemnere (see contemn).

Pronunciation

contemptuous

/kənˈtɛmptʃuəs//kənˈtempCHo͞oəs/