Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

contemptible

[kuh n-temp-tuh-buh l]
See more synonyms for contemptible on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. deserving of or held in contempt; despicable.
  2. Obsolete. contemptuous.
Show More

Origin of contemptible

1350–1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin contemptibilis, equivalent to contempt(us) (see contempt) + -ibilis -ible
Related formscon·tempt·i·bil·i·ty, con·tempt·i·ble·ness, nouncon·tempt·i·bly, adverbnon·con·tempt·i·bil·i·ty, nounnon·con·tempt·i·ble, adjectivenon·con·tempt·i·ble·ness, nounnon·con·tempt·i·bly, adverbun·con·tempt·i·bil·i·ty, nounun·con·tempt·i·ble, adjectiveun·con·tempt·i·ble·ness, nounun·con·tempt·i·bly, adverb
Can be confusedcontemptible contemptuous

Synonyms

See more synonyms for contemptible on Thesaurus.com
1. mean, abject, low, base.

Antonyms

1. admirable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contemptible

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They achieve repartee the brilliance of which dazzles him to contemptible silence.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • What merit was there in being what it would be contemptible not to be?

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Not another inch, you contemptible whelp, or I'll brain you!

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Her name is not Buttons; she is not in the least a contemptible nor entirely a comic figure.

    Alarms and Discursions

    G. K. Chesterton

  • You talk of your honour and your truth when you did such a contemptible thing!


British Dictionary definitions for contemptible

contemptible

adjective
  1. deserving or worthy of contempt; despicable
Show More
Derived Formscontemptibility or contemptibleness, nouncontemptibly, adverb
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 contemptible

adj.

late 14c., from Latin contemptibilis "worthy of scorn," from contempt-, past participle stem of contemnere (see contempt). Related: Contemptibility; contemptibly.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper