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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.
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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

Related Words for condescend

vouchsafe, accord, submit, acquiesce, grant, oblige, yield, accommodate, favor, concede, descend, deign, agree, comply, bend, unbend

Examples from the Web for condescend

Historical Examples of condescend

  • 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
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Word Origin for condescend

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper