- 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
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.