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[dis-deyn, dih-steyn] /dɪsˈdeɪn, dɪˈsteɪn/
verb (used with object)
to look upon or treat with contempt; despise; scorn.
to think unworthy of notice, response, etc.; consider beneath oneself:
to disdain replying to an insult.
a feeling of contempt for anything regarded as unworthy; haughty contempt; scorn.
Origin of disdain
1300-50; (v.) Middle English disdainen < Anglo-French de(s)deigner (see dis-1, deign); (noun) Middle English disdeyn < Anglo-French desdai(g)n, derivative of the verb
Related forms
self-disdain, noun
undisdaining, adjective
1. contemn, spurn. 3. haughtiness, arrogance. See contempt.
1. accept. 3. admiration. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for disdaining
Historical Examples
  • We are told that England is a proud and lofty nation, that, disdaining to wait for danger meets it half way.

  • But there he stood, as if disdaining to fly, face fronting the enemy.

    The Pools of Silence H. de Vere Stacpoole
  • And these disdaining the herds grazed still on the rich herbage in the pastures, and they were exceeding high of heart.

  • But, disdaining my proffered hand, she stepped ashore unaided.

    The Suitors of Yvonne Raphael Sabatini
  • Yet Boris went on, disdaining his enemies, winning power as he went.

  • "King's Apothecary and Herbarist," continued Arthur disdaining the interruption.

    Last Words Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • Another followed, and Luis turned it aside with his sword, disdaining to raise his shield against such a trifle.

    Mercedes of Castile J. Fenimore Cooper
  • Rina, disdaining a saddle, scrambled on his back, and rode off.

    Two on the Trail Hulbert Footner
  • The generous le G——, disdaining to expose to want and ignominy the woman who had once been dear to him, would proceed no further.

  • Because they covet you as a drawing card to disdaining shoppers.

    On a Donkey's Hurricane Deck R. Pitcher Woodward
British Dictionary definitions for disdaining


a feeling or show of superiority and dislike; contempt; scorn
(transitive; may take an infinitive) to refuse or reject with disdain
Word Origin
C13 dedeyne, from Old French desdeign, from desdeigner to reject as unworthy, from Latin dēdignārī; see dis-1, deign
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 disdaining



late 14c., from Old French desdeignier "disdain, scorn, refuse, repudiate," from des- "do the opposite of" (see dis-) + deignier "treat as worthy" (see deign). Related: Disdained; disdaining.


mid-14c., desdegne "scorn, contempt," earlier dedeyne "offended dignity" (c.1300), from Old French desdeigne, from desdeignier (see disdain (v.)). Sometimes in early Modern English shortened to sdain, sdainful. Related: disdainful; disdainfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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