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Definition of "contempt" []

  • The feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless; scorn. (noun)
  • The state of being despised or dishonored; disgrace. (noun)
  • Open disrespect or willful disobedience of the authority of a court of law or legislative body. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "contempt" in a sentence
  • "They make him express a vulgar scorn at Polonius which utterly degrades his gentility, and which no explanation can render palatable; they make him show contempt, and curl up the nose at Ophelia’s father, —contempt in its very grossest and most hateful form; but they get applause by it: it is natural, people say; that is, the words are scornful, and the actor expresses scorn, and that they can judge of: but why so much scorn, and of that sort, they never think of asking."
  • "Perhaps as the American framers conceived of the operation of their system, a wide spread and deeply felt, national, sense of repugnance, a feeling that democratic and constitutional values are being held in contempt is enough in constitutional terms to self-define conduct as “high crime and misdemeanour.”"
  • "In hindsight, my contempt is actually mixed with pity."