Last modified on 14 March 2015, at 02:37



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



contempt (plural contempts)

  1. (uncountable) The state of contemning; the feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn, disdain.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them.
  2. The state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace.
  3. (law) Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body.



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