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condescend

[kon-duh-send]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to behave as if one is conscious of descending from a superior position, rank, or dignity.
  2. to stoop or deign to do something: He would not condescend to misrepresent the facts.
  3. to put aside one's dignity or superiority voluntarily and assume equality with one regarded as inferior: He condescended to their intellectual level in order to be understood.
  4. Obsolete.
    1. to yield.
    2. to assent.

Origin of condescend

1300–50; Middle English condescenden < Late Latin condēscendere (see con-, descend); replacing Middle English condescendre < Middle French
Related formscon·des·cend·er, con·des·cend·ent, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for condescend

Historical Examples

  • But can you, my dear Miss Howe, condescend to carry on a private correspondence with me?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Would you please to condescend to take a cup of tea with us, sir?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • Will you condescend to inform me how you know it, Tom, if you will not inform Annabel?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • But by what process a "vital unit" can be evolved, he does not condescend to tell us.

  • We cannot, therefore, condescend to imitate him in the way you speak of.


British Dictionary definitions for condescend

condescend

verb (intr)
  1. to act graciously towards another or others regarded as being on a lower level; behave patronizingly
  2. to do something that one regards as below one's dignity

Word Origin

C14: from Church Latin condēscendere to stoop, condescend, from Latin dēscendere to descend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for condescend

adj.

mid-14c., "to yield deferentially," from Old French condescendere (14c.) "to agree, consent, give in, yield," from Late Latin condescendere "to let oneself down," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + descendere "descend" (see descend). Sense of "to sink willingly to equal terms with inferiors" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper