[kon-duh-sen-shuh n]


an act or instance of condescending.
behavior that is patronizing or condescending.
voluntary assumption of equality with a person regarded as inferior.

Origin of condescension

First recorded in 1635–45, condescension is from the Late Latin word condēscēnsiōn- (stem of condēscēnsiō). See con-, descension
Related formscon·de·scen·sive [kon-duh-sen-siv] /ˌkɒn dəˈsɛn sɪv/, adjectivecon·de·scen·sive·ly, adverbnon·con·de·scen·sion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for condescension

Contemporary Examples of condescension

Historical Examples of condescension

  • O my dear, how my mother's condescension distressed me at the time!

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The lunatic approached Cesarini with an air of dignity and condescension.

  • The house was kept in a homely manner, and the condescension of Mr Blandois was infinite.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • They were always forgiving me, in their vanity and condescension.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • And there must be in it no touch of condescension, no shadow of patronage.

British Dictionary definitions for condescension



the act or an instance of behaving in a patronizing way
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 condescension

1640s, from Late Latin condescensionem, noun of action from past participle stem of condescendere (see condescend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper