verb (used without object)
- to yield.
- to assent.
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Origin of condescend
OTHER WORDS FROM condescendcon·des·cend·er, con·des·cend·ent, noun
Words nearby condescend
What does condescend mean?
Condescend commonly means to interact with others in a way that implies that you’re superior to them. It especially refers to when this is done in an arrogant or patronizing way—meaning when you act as if you’re doing someone a favor by supposedly lowering yourself to their level of understanding or intelligence.
This sense of the word is often used with the word to and the recipient of such behavior, as in Don’t condescend to me.
This sense of condescend is always used negatively and implies that such behavior is insulting to the person or people it’s directed toward. The adjective condescending is used to describe people who act in such a way, or their words or actions, as in condescending tone. Condescending often involves not only what is said but also how it’s said. A condescending tone is often one that sounds like it’s directed at a child.
Condescend can also mean to stoop to a lower level or to do something that one considers as below one’s dignity. A close synonym of this sense of the word is deign.
The act of condescending is called condescension.
Example: Why do you feel the need to condescend every time you explain something?
Where does condescend come from?
The first records of the word condescend come from the 1300s. It comes from the Late Latin condēscendere, which means “to stoop” and derives from the Latin dēscendere, “to descend.”
Condescending always involves stooping or descending to the level of those considered inferior. A person who condescends to another usually isn’t outright insulting them. Instead, they’re speaking as if the person they’re addressing doesn’t have the ability to understand their supposedly superior intelligence.
Condescend and patronize are often used as synonyms, but they can have slightly different shades of meaning. A person might patronize another by telling them what they think they want to hear. But more often than not, someone who’s condescending is intentionally trying to display their supposed superiority through their tone.
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What are some other forms related to condescend?
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What are some words that often get used in discussing condescend?
How is condescend used in real life?
Condescend is usually used negatively to imply rudeness or disrespect.
It’s really lame to condescend and be all, “why don’t you love this really heady hard to digest activist and educator I love the way you love a beautiful celebrity for singing and dancing?!” Bc entertainment is popular and accessible! What an idiotic, unoriginal thought
— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) June 24, 2020
your problem is you condescend instead of educate
— 👍Certified Madhir👍 (@ilydeennn) June 23, 2020
It’s just never going to not feel weird to see someone condescend to others by bringing up the same things they sneered at you for bringing up only so long ago. I don’t feel bitterness, but the hurt lingers, and I still wonder why it wasn’t enough when I told you.
— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) June 29, 2020
Try using condescend!
Is condescend used correctly in the following sentence?
He refused to condescend to the level of the common peasants.
Example sentences from the Web for condescend
Would not, mind you; she did not condescend to claim she could not.Life on the Stage|Clara Morris
Yes, sir; if you disbelieve my word of honor, I will condescend to show you my invitation.
I wonder how a chap like Bracebridge can patronise him, or how a big fellow like Lemon can condescend to speak to him.Ernest Bracebridge|William H. G. Kingston
But this man writes out his opinion coolly, simply, with that fine hauteur that will not condescend to know of opposition.The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance|Paul Elmer More
As you are so much in London, I think you might give me a few hours of your time when you condescend to stay at the castle.The Pagan's Cup|Fergus Hume