verb (used with object), de·spised, de·spis·ing.

to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.

Origin of despise

1250–1300; Middle English despisen < Old French despis-, stem of despire < Latin dēspicere; see despicable
Related formsde·spis·a·ble, adjectivede·spis·a·ble·ness, nounde·spis·er, nounde·spis·ing·ly, adverbun·de·spised, adjectiveun·de·spis·ing, adjective

Synonyms for despise

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

Examples from the Web for despiser

Historical Examples of despiser

  • This Ameres, whom the people regard as so holy, is at heart a despiser of the gods.

  • Avoid affiance with a despiser of the Christian religion, whatever else he may have or may not have.

    The Wedding Ring

    T. De Witt Talmage

  • He is intensely proud of his caste, a despiser of his Christian fellow-townsmen.


    E. F. Knight

  • For it is said that the despiser of ladies is never worthy in arms.

  • The man was a leveller, a chartist, a positivist—a despiser of dignities!

    Thomas Wingfold, Curate

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for despiser



(tr) to look down on with contempt; scornhe despises flattery
Derived Formsdespiser, noun

Word Origin for despise

C13: from Old French despire, from Latin dēspicere to look down, from de- + specere to look
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 despiser



c.1300, from Old French despis-, present participle stem of despire "to despise," from Latin despicere "look down on, scorn," from de- "down" (see de-) + spicere/specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Related: Despised; despising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper