[des-pi-kuh-buhl, dih-spik-uh-]


deserving to be despised, or regarded with distaste, disgust, or disdain; contemptible: He was a mean, despicable man, who treated his wife and children badly.

Origin of despicable

1545–55; < Late Latin dēspicābilis, equivalent to Latin dēspic(ārī) to despise or dēspic(ere) to look down (dē- de- + -spic- look, combining form of specere) + -ābilis -able
Related formsdes·pi·ca·bil·i·ty, des·pi·ca·ble·ness, noundes·pi·ca·bly, adverb

Synonyms for despicable

Antonyms for despicable Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for despicably

Contemporary Examples of despicably

Historical Examples of despicably

  • I flattered myself I was not so despicably weak, for a woman.'


    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Despicably egotistical he had been in submitting to the chair, in not making one last wild break for freedom at that time.

  • But I own that I agree with him heartily in his opinion that "making a conjurer explain his tricks" is despicably poor fun.

  • To show you how despicably I think of the business, I will here leave you presently, though I lose the pleasure of railing at you.

    Thomas Otway

    Thomas Otway

  • I like it in the French style, all but the lait; that destroys the flavor, besides making it despicably weak.

British Dictionary definitions for despicably



worthy of being despised; contemptible; mean
Derived Formsdespicability or despicableness, noundespicably, adverb

Word Origin for despicable

C16: from Late Latin dēspicābilis, from dēspicārī to disdain; compare despise
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 despicably



1550s, from Late Latin despicabilis, from Latin despicari "despise, disdain, look down on," from de- "down" (see de-) + spicare, variant of specere "to look" (see scope (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper