Contemptible Con*tempt"i*ble, a. 1. Worthy of contempt; deserving of scorn or disdain; mean; vile; despicable. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The arguments of tyranny are ascontemptible as its force is dreadful. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

2. Despised; scorned; neglected; abject. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

3. Insolent; scornful; contemptuous. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

If she should make tender of her love, 't is very possible he 'll scorn it; for the man . . . hath a contemptible spirit. --Shak.

Syn: Despicable; abject; vile; mean; base; paltry; worthless; sorry; pitiful; scurrile. See {Contemptuous}.

Usage: {Contemptible}, {Despicable}, {Pitiful}, {Paltry}. Despicable is stronger than contemptible, as despise is stronger than contemn. It implies keen disapprobation, with a mixture of anger. A man is despicable chiefly for low actions which mark his life, such as servility, baseness, or mean adulation. A man is contemptible for mean qualities which distinguish his character, especially those which show him to be weak, foolish, or worthless. Treachery is despicable, egotism is contemptible. Pitiful and paltry are applied to cases which are beneath anger, and are simply contemptible in a high degree. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • contemptible — adj Contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy, cheap, beggarly, shabby are comparable when they mean arousing or deserving scorn or disdain. Contemptible applies to whatever inspires such scorn or disdain for any reason however great or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contemptible — ⇒CONTEMPTIBLE, adj. Rare. Qui mérite le mépris, méprisable. Une offrande si contemptible (GIDE, Si le grain ne meurt, 1924, p. 611). Rem. Attesté ds Ac. 1798 1878 et, au XXe s., par Nouv. Lar. ill., Lar. 20e, QUILLET 1965. Prononc. et Orth.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • contemptible — contemptible, contemptuous Contemptible in current use means ‘deserving contempt’ • (His defiant and sulky defence of his right to pat bottoms and hump secretaries, or pin women to the wall in sexual passes, is contemptible Independent, 2006)… …   Modern English usage

  • contemptible — CONTEMPTIBLE. adj. v. Vil & mesprisable. Il s est rendu contemptible, c est un homme vil & contemptible. Il vieillit …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • contemptible — I adjective abhorrent, abiectus, abject, abominable, atrocious, base, blameworthy, censurable, condemnable, condemnatory, contemned, contemnendus, contemptus, contumelious, corrupt, culpable, damnable, deplorable, depraved, despicable, despised,… …   Law dictionary

  • contemptible — CONTEMPTIBLE. adj. des 2 gen. Vil et méprisable. Il s est rendu contemptible. C est un homme vil etcontemptible. Il vieillit …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • contemptible — (del lat. «contemptibĭlis»; ant.) adj. Despreciable …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • contemptible — late 14c., from L. contemptibilis worthy of scorn, from contempt , pp. stem of contemnere (see CONTEMPT (Cf. contempt)). Related: Contemptibility; contemptibly …   Etymology dictionary

  • contemptible — [adj] despicable, shameful abhorrent, abject, abominable, bad, base, beggarly, cheap, crass, currish, degenerate, despisable, detestable, dirty, disgusting, hateful, heel, ignoble, ignominious, inferior, low, lowdown*, lowest, mean, odious,… …   New thesaurus

  • contemptible — Contemptible, Contemnendus …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

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