Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[kuh n-temp-tuh-buh l] /kənˈtɛmp tə bəl/
deserving of or held in contempt; despicable.
Obsolete. contemptuous.
Origin of contemptible
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin contemptibilis, equivalent to contempt(us) (see contempt) + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
contemptibility, contemptibleness, noun
contemptibly, adverb
noncontemptibility, noun
noncontemptible, adjective
noncontemptibleness, noun
noncontemptibly, adverb
uncontemptibility, noun
uncontemptible, adjective
uncontemptibleness, noun
uncontemptibly, adverb
Can be confused
contemptible, contemptuous.
1. mean, abject, low, base.
1. admirable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for contemptible
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They achieve repartee the brilliance of which dazzles him to contemptible silence.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • What merit was there in being what it would be contemptible not to be?

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Not another inch, you contemptible whelp, or I'll brain you!

    The Black Bag Louis Joseph Vance
  • Her name is not Buttons; she is not in the least a contemptible nor entirely a comic figure.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • You talk of your honour and your truth when you did such a contemptible thing!

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
British Dictionary definitions for contemptible


deserving or worthy of contempt; despicable
Derived Forms
contemptibility, contemptibleness, noun
contemptibly, adverb
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for contemptible

late 14c., from Latin contemptibilis "worthy of scorn," from contempt-, past participle stem of contemnere (see contempt). Related: Contemptibility; contemptibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for contemptible

Word Value for contemptible

Scrabble Words With Friends