[ kon-duh-sen-ding ]
/ ˌkɒn dəˈsɛn dɪŋ /


showing or implying a usually patronizing descent from dignity or superiority: They resented the older neighbors' condescending cordiality.

Nearby words

  1. condenser,
  2. condensible,
  3. condensing osteitis,
  4. condescend,
  5. condescendence,
  6. condescension,
  7. condescent,
  8. condign,
  9. condignity,
  10. condignly

Origin of condescending

First recorded in 1630–40; condescend + -ing2

Related forms


[ kon-duh-send ]
/ ˌkɒn dəˈsɛnd /

verb (used without object)

to behave as if one is conscious of descending from a superior position, rank, or dignity.
to stoop or deign to do something: He would not condescend to misrepresent the facts.
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.
  1. to yield.
  2. to assent.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for condescending

British Dictionary definitions for condescending


/ (ˌkɒndɪˈsɛndɪŋ) /


showing or implying condescension by stooping to the level of one's inferiors, esp in a patronizing way
Derived Formscondescendingly, adverb


/ (ˌkɒndɪˈsɛnd) /

verb (intr)

to act graciously towards another or others regarded as being on a lower level; behave patronizingly
to do something that one regards as below one's dignity

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 condescending
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper