Definition of contumelious in English:


Pronunciation /ˌkänt(y)o͝oˈmēlēəs/ /ˌkɑnt(j)ʊˈmiliəs/

See synonyms for contumelious on


  • (of behavior) scornful and insulting; insolent.

    ‘It wasn't his fault that he liked you more than a compatriot and did a truly contumelious act out of selfish passionate feelings towards you.’
    • ‘What the law has for a long time required is merely conscious wrongdoing in the sense of volition and in contumelious disregard of another's rights.’
    • ‘That cannot be considered a deliberate or contumelious delay undertaken by one litigant in an attempt to thwart the rights of an opposing litigant.’
    disparaging, denigratory, belittling, diminishing, slighting, deprecatory, depreciatory, depreciative, detracting, deflating


Late Middle English from Old French contumelieus, from Latin contumeliosus, from contumelia ‘abuse, insult’ (see contumely).