Definition of contemptuous in English:


Pronunciation /kənˈtempCHo͞oəs/ /kənˈtɛmptʃuəs/

See synonyms for contemptuous

Translate contemptuous into Spanish


  • Showing contempt; scornful.

    ‘she was intolerant and contemptuous of the majority of the human race’
    • ‘Has any country ever had a more arrogant, insolent, contemptuous leader than we have?’
    • ‘The problem lies in a deeply disrespectful, even contemptuous, attitude towards women.’
    • ‘They should be made to pay for their contemptuous and arrogant behaviour.’
    • ‘He lacks the cold, contemptuous arrogance that would make Elizabeth - and us - hate him.’
    • ‘He was contemptuous and sneering in pointing out that we were in the wrong carriage.’
    • ‘He evaluates the host culture from his own perspective and approaches it with a condescending or even contemptuous attitude.’
    • ‘His bitter frown transformed itself into a sneer and then a contemptuous smile.’
    • ‘Even when you're contemptuous of such behavior, it is a fact of life.’
    • ‘There was the abiding desire that they shouldn't play beneath themselves, be dishonourable or contemptuous of others.’
    • ‘Imagine then how easy it would be to become bitter, resentful, contemptuous, angry and revengeful?’
    • ‘It is contemptuous in the extreme, and such comments make it almost impossible to respond in a civilised fashion.’
    • ‘Savagery and barbarism were contemptuous expressions used by ‘civilised’ people.’
    • ‘The kids themselves flout this rule with contemptuous ease, but if a teacher catches them, they might well be in for it.’
    • ‘He is ferociously contemptuous of people who distort the meaning of a document or the argument of a book or use the past as an adventure playground.’
    • ‘They are also vaguely contemptuous of his beady-eyed negotiations regarding fees and wardrobe allowances.’
    • ‘Most of the men seem to be intimidated by her, or at least, contemptuous of her because she's disingenuous.’
    • ‘They are either totally ignorant or contemptuous of the fundamentals of a civilised judicial system.’
    • ‘They are contemptuous of fundamental human rights and jealous of any source of power apart from their own.’
    • ‘He was contemptuous of me for reminding him about reading the instructions - he didn't see the relevance.’
    • ‘Those who aren't openly contemptuous often dismiss it as hilariously freakish.’
    scornful, disdainful, disrespectful, insulting, insolent, full of contempt
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘despising law and order’): from medieval Latin contemptuosus, from Latin contemptus ‘contempt’, from contemnere (see contemn).