Origin of condescension
OTHER WORDS FROM condescensioncon·de·scen·sive [kon-duh-sen-siv], /ˌkɒn dəˈsɛn sɪv/, adjectivecon·de·scen·sive·ly, adverbnon·con·de·scen·sion, noun
Words nearby condescension
What does condescension mean?
Condescension is a way of interacting with others 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.
Condescension often involves not only what is said but also how it’s said. A tone of condescension is often one that sounds like it’s directed at a child.
Condescension is a noun form of the verb condescend, which most commonly means to behave in this way. When used this way, condescend, condescension, and the adjective condescending are always negative and imply that such behavior is insulting to the person or people it’s directed toward.
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. Condescension can also mean the act of doing so.
Example: His opinion piece is dripping with condescension—it’s written as if no one else is capable of understanding.
Where does condescension come from?
The first records of the word condescension come from the 1600s. It derives from a term closely related to the Late Latin verb condēscendere, which means “to stoop” and derives from the Latin dēscendere, “to descend.”
Condescension 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. Most commonly, condescension takes the form of a person intentionally attempting to display this supposed superiority through their tone.
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What are some other forms related to condescension?
- condescend (verb)
What are some words that share a root or word element with condescension?
What are some words that often get used in discussing condescension?
How is condescension used in real life?
The word condescension is usually used negatively to imply rudeness or disrespect.
Still, it should be possible to criticise Lady Gaga without displaying utter condescension and contempt towards ordinary people.
— Dorian Lynskey (@Dorianlynskey) May 20, 2011
It just wears you down. It’s not a single argument or differing point of few, it’s persistent daily condescension for months, dismissiveness, belittling. Stuff that is meant to “put you in your place”
— Jessica Hische (@jessicahische) June 29, 2020
The desire for women and girls to be innocent is infantilism and speaks to a strange condescension in which both maturity and trauma are seen as traits that make women undesirable.
— Dack Jenny☭ #BLM (@DackJenny) June 28, 2020
Try using condescension!
Is condescension used correctly in the following sentence?
The thinly veiled condescension in his speech was extremely off-putting.
How to use condescension in a sentence
In the ’90s, nobody had to endure the peculiar combination of condescension, contempt and she-looks-so-thin-I-just-hope-she’s-okay concern trolling that Apple did.‘Tidal’ made Fiona Apple a star 25 years ago. Its success nearly overwhelmed her.|Allison Stewart|July 22, 2021|Washington Post
Scandinavian Americans are now part of the cultural mainstream, but in the 19th century, Scandinavian farmers struggling to make a living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas were regarded with condescension by the New England cultural elite.No, the Vikings Did Not Discover America. Here's Why That Myth is Problematic|Gordon Campbell|June 29, 2021|Time
I may be overstepping myself with this hunch, but I see two confident, highly intelligent people — you, the eminent scientist — who have detection systems that react strongly to condescension.
The answer, dripping with condescension, was “if you put 100 labradoodles in a room together, you’d be lucky if two of them looked alike.”I Went to the Westminster Dog Show and All I Got Was This Lousy Positive View of Humanity|Elijah Wolfson|June 14, 2021|Time
His smirky condescension is pure sexist gaslighting, yet Vivian can’t yet see it for what it is.Moxie Invokes Fierce, Riot Grrrl Spirit, Only to End in a Noncommittal Group Hug|Stephanie Zacharek|March 3, 2021|Time
The irony is that the president, with smug condescension, is quick to attack others for being out of touch with reality.Romney’s One Quip on Russia Trumps Obama’s Former Declarations|Stuart Stevens|March 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
President Kennedy smiled without a hint of condescension and extended a hand to Douglas that was at once firm and remarkably soft.
The men in The Group behave with glibness, condescension, and even brutality toward the Vassar grads.American Dreams, 1963: ‘The Group’ by Mary McCarthy|Nathaniel Rich|July 25, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Ironically, their claims of condescension are condescending themselves.
Obama can exhibit strains of personal diffidence, even condescension, toward people, especially critics.Team Obama ‘Ecstatic,’ but Expects Only Modest Debate Bounce|James Warren|October 17, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The duke was in the highest animation, and he talked to every one round him, as we marched along, with more than condescension.
A loud laugh greeted this remark, and Billy, smiling with condescension, said he was gratified by their approval.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands|R.M. Ballantyne
There was a slight, almost indescribable tone of condescension or disparagement in her voice, the reason of which I will explain.Robin Redbreast|Mary Louisa Molesworth
Her overtures of familiarity and service was unskilfully made; her very timidity construed into labored condescension.Alone|Marion Harland
The act had condescension in it; yet, too, something unconsciously simple and primitive.When Valmond Came to Pontiac, Complete|Gilbert Parker