[ dis-deyn, dih-steyn ]
/ dɪsˈdeɪn, dɪˈsteɪn /

verb (used with object)

to look upon or treat with contempt; despise; scorn.
to think unworthy of notice, response, etc.; consider beneath oneself: to disdain replying to an insult.


a feeling of contempt for anything regarded as unworthy; haughty contempt; scorn.

Origin of disdain

1300–50; (v.) Middle English disdainen < Anglo-French de(s)deigner (see dis-1, deign); (noun) Middle English disdeyn < Anglo-French desdai(g)n, derivative of the verb

Related forms

self-dis·dain, nounun·dis·dain·ing, adjective

Synonym study

3. See contempt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disdain

British Dictionary definitions for disdain


/ (dɪsˈdeɪn) /


a feeling or show of superiority and dislike; contempt; scorn


(tr; may take an infinitive) to refuse or reject with disdain

Word Origin for disdain

C13 dedeyne, from Old French desdeign, from desdeigner to reject as unworthy, from Latin dēdignārī; see dis- 1, deign
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