- The definition of contempt is a feeling of scorn towards another person or an act showing disrespect for someone or something.
An example of contempt is the feeling that someone has for a person who stole her precious jewelry.
- the feeling or attitude of one who looks down on somebody or something as being low, mean, or unworthy; scorn
- the condition of being despised or scorned
- the punishable act of showing disrespect for the authority or dignity of a court (or legislature), as by disobedience, unruliness, etc.
Origin of contemptOld French ; from Classical Latin contemptus, scorn, past participle of contemnere: see contemn
- The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn.
- The state of being despised or dishonored: was held in contempt by his former friends.
- Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.
Origin of contemptMiddle English, from Latin contemptus, past participle of contemnere, to despise; see contemn.
- See contempt
contempt - Legal Definition
The willful defiance, disregard, or disrespect of judicial or legislative authority or dignity, especially any disobedience of an order or any conduct that disrupts, obstructs, or interferes with the administration or procedures of a court or legislature. See also contemner.civil contempt
Contempt that consists of the failure to comply with a court order that is issued for another’s benefit. The usual penalty is the daily imposition of a fine or imprisonment until the person in contempt agrees to obey the order.consequential contempt
See constructive contempt.constructive contempt
Contempt that occurs outside of a judge’s presence or the immediate vicinity of a courtroom.criminal contempt
An act or omission that is in disrespect of the court and obstructs its administration or procedures. For example, a party who shouts insults at a judge during a trial would be committing an act of criminal contempt. The usual penalty is a fixed fine or term of imprisonment.direct contempt
Contempt that occurs openly in the presence of a judge or immediate vicinity of a courtroom.indirect contempt
See constructive contempt.purge[ing] contempt
To comply with court order so as to have sentence of contempt lifted.