Contempt Definition

The feeling or attitude of one who looks down on somebody or something as being low, mean, or unworthy; scorn.
Webster's New World
The condition of being despised or scorned.
Webster's New World
The punishable act of showing disrespect for the authority or dignity of a court (or legislature), as by disobedience, unruliness, etc.
Webster's New World
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.
Webster's New World Law

(uncountable) The state of contemning; the feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn, disdain.


Other Word Forms of Contempt



Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Contempt

  • beneath contempt

Origin of Contempt

  • From Latin contemptus (“scorn”), from contemnere (“to scorn, despise”), from com- + temnere (“to despise”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Latin contemptus past participle of contemnere to despise contemn

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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