adjective Date: 14th century 1. worthy of contempt 2. obsolete scornful, contemptuouscontemptibility nouncontemptibleness nouncontemptibly adverb Synonyms: contemptible, despicable, pitiable, sorry, scurvy mean arousing or deserving scorn. contemptible may imply any quality provoking scorn or a low standing in any scale of values <
a contemptible liar
. despicable may imply utter worthlessness and usually suggests arousing an attitude of moral indignation <
a despicable crime
. pitiable applies to what inspires mixed contempt and pity <
a pitiable attempt at tragedy
. sorry may stress pitiable inadequacy or may suggest wretchedness or sordidness <
this rattletrap is a sorry excuse for a car
. scurvy adds to despicable an implication of arousing disgust <
a scurvy crew of hangers-on

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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 — 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;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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