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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.
Example sentences from the Web for condescension
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.
Earlier in the book, Murray waxed indignant about the "condescension toward the rabble" he detected in the new upper class.
They take on a protective stance in public, and they exude insecurity in their condescension.
This condescension seemed to have no other effect than that of encouraging their arrogance.The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I|Tobias Smollett
M. Le Mesge smiled with condescension, meantime winking at Morhange with the eye nearest to him.Atlantida|Pierre Benoit
I do not know how to acknowledge with sufficient humility the condescension and great kindness of your lordship's letter.The Eustace Diamonds|Anthony Trollope
No condescension is needed, but ascension to a free and ready flight of fancy.Special Method in Primary Reading and Oral Work with Stories|Charles Alexander McMurry
C's breeziness had in it a touch of condescension, or D's brusqueness was the brusqueness of assumed superiority.The Knack of Managing|Lewis K. Urquhart and Herbert Watson