contumely

[kon-too-muh-lee, -tyoo-; kuhn-too-muh-lee, -tyoo-; kon-tuhm-lee, -tyoom, -chuhm]
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noun, plural con·tu·me·lies.
  1. insulting display of contempt in words or actions; contemptuous or humiliating treatment.
  2. a humiliating insult.

Origin of contumely

1350–1400; Middle English contumelie (< Anglo-French) < Latin contumēlia, perhaps akin to contumāx (see contumacy), though formation and sense development are unclear
Related formscon·tu·me·li·ous [kon-too-mee-lee-uhs, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn tuˈmi li əs, -tyu-/, adjectivecon·tu·me·li·ous·ly, adverbcon·tu·me·li·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for contumely

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


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Historical Examples of contumely


British Dictionary definitions for contumely

contumely

noun plural -lies
  1. scornful or insulting language or behaviour
  2. a humiliating or scornful insult
Derived Formscontumelious (ˌkɒntjʊˈmiːlɪəs), adjectivecontumeliously, adverbcontumeliousness, noun

Word Origin for contumely

C14: from Latin contumēlia invective, from tumēre to swell, as with wrath
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 contumely
n.

late 14c., from Old French contumelie, from Latin contumelia "a reproach, insult," probably related to contumax "haughty, stubborn," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tumere "to swell up" (see thigh).

The unhappy man left his country forever. The howl of contumely followed him across the sea, up the Rhine, over the Alps; it gradually waxed fainter; it died away; those who had raised it began to ask each other, what, after all, was the matter about which they had been so clamorous, and wished to invite back the criminal whom they had just chased from them. [Thomas Babington Macaulay, "Lord Byron," 1877]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper