- the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
- the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.
- willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.
- an act showing such disrespect.
Origin of contempt
- the attitude or feeling of a person towards a person or thing that he considers worthless or despicable; scorn
- the state of being scorned; disgrace (esp in the phrase hold in contempt)
- wilful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law or legislative bodycontempt of court
Word Origin for contempt
late 14c., from Latin contemptus "scorn," from past participle of contemnere "to scorn, despise," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + *temnere "to slight, scorn," of uncertain origin. Phrase contempt of court is attested from 19c., though the idea is several centuries older.
contempt of court
The deliberate obstruction of a court's proceedings by refusing to obey a court order or by interfering with court procedures. Contempt of court can be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both.
see familiarity breeds contempt.