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[des-pi-kuh-buh l, dih-spik-uh-] /ˈdɛs pɪ kə bəl, dɪˈspɪk ə-/
deserving to be despised, or regarded with distaste, disgust, or disdain; contemptible:
He was a mean, despicable man, who treated his wife and children badly.
Origin of despicable
1545-55; < Late Latin dēspicābilis, equivalent to Latin dēspic(ārī) to despise or dēspic(ere) to look down (dē- de- + -spic- look, combining form of specere) + -ābilis -able
Related forms
despicability, despicableness, noun
despicably, adverb
vile, mean, detestable.
admirable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for despicably
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I flattered myself I was not so despicably weak, for a woman.'

    Heartsease Charlotte M. Yonge
  • despicably egotistical he had been in submitting to the chair, in not making one last wild break for freedom at that time.

    The Affair of the Brains Anthony Gilmore
  • But I own that I agree with him heartily in his opinion that "making a conjurer explain his tricks" is despicably poor fun.

  • To show you how despicably I think of the business, I will here leave you presently, though I lose the pleasure of railing at you.

    Thomas Otway Thomas Otway
  • I like it in the French style, all but the lait; that destroys the flavor, besides making it despicably weak.

  • I then opened on him, and told him how despicably he had acted when I so generously trusted to his honor.

  • His simple notion of having a home of his own is derided as bourgeois, as sentimental, or as despicably Christian.

    What's Wrong With The World G.K. Chesterton
  • We cant afford it is the plea most frequently heard, and a despicably selfish one it is.

British Dictionary definitions for despicably


/dɪˈspɪkəbəl; ˈdɛspɪk-/
worthy of being despised; contemptible; mean
Derived Forms
despicability, despicableness, noun
despicably, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin dēspicābilis, from dēspicārī to disdain; compare despise
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
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Word Origin and History for despicably



1550s, from Late Latin despicabilis, from Latin despicari "despise, disdain, look down on," from de- "down" (see de-) + spicare, variant of specere "to look" (see scope (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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