- To condescend is to talk to someone in a way that makes it clear you believe that you are better and smarter.
An example of condescend is if you explain something to an adult with slow, deliberate words as if you were talking to a child.
- to descend voluntarily to the level, regarded as lower, of the person one is dealing with; be graciously willing to do something regarded as beneath one's dignity; deign
- to deal with others in a proud or haughty way
- Obsolete to make concessions; agree; assent
Origin of condescendMiddle English condescenden ; from Old French condescendre ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin condescendere, to let oneself down, condescend ; from Classical Latin com-, together + descendere, descend
intransitive verbcon·de·scend·ed, con·de·scend·ing, con·de·scends
- To do something that one regards as beneath one's social rank or dignity; lower oneself. See Synonyms at stoop1.
- To behave in a patronizing or superior manner toward someone: Viewed as a popularizer more than a scholar, he was condescended to by his academic colleagues.
Origin of condescendMiddle English condescenden, from Old French condescendre, from Late Latin condēscendere : Latin com-, intensive pref.; see com– + dēscendere, to descend; see descend.
(third-person singular simple present condescends, present participle condescending, simple past and past participle condescended)
- (intransitive) To come down from one's superior position; to deign (to do something).
- (intransitive) To treat (someone) as though inferior; to be patronizing (toward someone); to talk down (to someone).
- 1868, Horatio Alger, Struggling Upward, ch. 3:
- "This is the pay I get for condescending to let you go with me."
- This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive.
- In sense “to talk down”, the derived participial adjective condescending (corresponding adverb condescendingly) are more common than the verb itself.