• synonyms


[dis-deyn, dih-steyn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to look upon or treat with contempt; despise; scorn.
  2. to think unworthy of notice, response, etc.; consider beneath oneself: to disdain replying to an insult.
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  1. a feeling of contempt for anything regarded as unworthy; haughty contempt; scorn.
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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 formsself-dis·dain, nounun·dis·dain·ing, adjective


See more synonyms for disdain on Thesaurus.com
1. contemn, spurn. 3. haughtiness, arrogance.

Synonym study

3. See contempt.


1. accept. 3. admiration.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for disdaining

Historical Examples

  • "Do get in, my dear girl," said Nana tranquilly, disdaining the onlookers.

    Nana, The Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille

    Emile Zola

  • But, disdaining my proffered hand, she stepped ashore unaided.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • "And then, this matter of studying," Bobby went on, disdaining her interruption.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • The Aztecs literally died in their tracks, disdaining to fly.

  • But there he stood, as if disdaining to fly, face fronting the enemy.

    The Pools of Silence

    H. de Vere Stacpoole

British Dictionary definitions for disdaining


  1. a feeling or show of superiority and dislike; contempt; scorn
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  1. (tr; may take an infinitive) to refuse or reject with disdain
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for disdaining



late 14c., from Old French desdeignier "disdain, scorn, refuse, repudiate," from des- "do the opposite of" (see dis-) + deignier "treat as worthy" (see deign). Related: Disdained; disdaining.

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mid-14c., desdegne "scorn, contempt," earlier dedeyne "offended dignity" (c.1300), from Old French desdeigne, from desdeignier (see disdain (v.)). Sometimes in early Modern English shortened to sdain, sdainful. Related: disdainful; disdainfully.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper