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look down on

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Also, look down one's nose at. Regard with contempt or condescension, consider oneself superior to. For example, When it comes to baking, Beth is a purist—she looks down on anyone who uses a mix, or Seniors have a way of looking down their noses at juniors. The first expression dates from about 1700, the second from about 1900.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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