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contempt

[kuh n-tempt]
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noun
  1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
  2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.
  3. Law.
    1. willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.
    2. an act showing such disrespect.

Origin of contempt

1350–1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin contemptus a slighting, equivalent to contemn(ere) to despise, scorn (see contemn) + -tus suffix of verb action (with loss of n and intrusive p)
Related formsself-con·tempt, noun

Synonym study

1. contempt , disdain , scorn imply strong feelings of disapproval and aversion toward what seems base, mean, or worthless. contempt is disapproval tinged with disgust: to feel contempt for a weakling . disdain is a feeling that a person or thing is beneath one's dignity and unworthy of one's notice, respect, or concern: a disdain for crooked dealing . scorn denotes open or undisguised contempt often combined with derision: He showed only scorn for those who were not as ambitious as himself.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for self-contempt

contempt

noun
  1. the attitude or feeling of a person towards a person or thing that he considers worthless or despicable; scorn
  2. the state of being scorned; disgrace (esp in the phrase hold in contempt)
  3. wilful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law or legislative bodycontempt of court

Word Origin

C14: from Latin contemptus a despising, from contemnere to contemn
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 self-contempt

contempt

n.

late 14c., from Latin contemptus "scorn," from past participle of contemnere "to scorn, despise," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + *temnere "to slight, scorn," of uncertain origin. Phrase contempt of court is attested from 19c., though the idea is several centuries older.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with self-contempt

contempt

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.