Contemptuous Con*temp"tu*ous (?; 135), a. Manifesting or expressing contempt or disdain; scornful; haughty; insolent; disdainful. [1913 Webster]

A proud, contemptuous behavior. --Hammond. [1913 Webster]

Savage invective and contemptuous sarcasm. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Rome . . . entertained the most contemptuous opinion of the Jews. --Atterbury.

Syn: Scornful; insolent; haughty; disdainful; supercilious; insulting; contumelious.

Usage: {Contemptuous}, {Contemptible}. These words, from their similarity of sound, are sometimes erroneously interchanged, as when a person speaks of having ``a very contemptible opinion of another.'' Contemptible is applied to that which is the object of contempt; as, contemptible conduct; acontemptible fellow. Contemptuous is applied to that which indicates contempt; as, a contemptuous look; a contemptuous remark; contemptuous treatment. A person, or whatever is personal, as an action, an expression, a feeling, an opinion, may be either contemptuous or contemptible; a thing may be contemptible, but can not be contemptuous. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • contemptuous — con|temp|tu|ous [kənˈtemptʃuəs] adj showing that you think someone or something deserves no respect ▪ Benedict threw her a contemptuous glance. contemptuous of ▪ He was openly contemptuous of his elder brother. >contemptuously adv …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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