Basic+ Word of the Day: contempt

contempt (noun) LISTEN

Contempt means ‘scorn, disregard, a lack of respect.’

  • When I tried to explain why she was wrong, she gave me a look of pure contempt.
  • The saleman's colleagues held him in contempt because he tried to steal their clients.
  • The shopkeeper treated the teenagers with complete contempt.

Contempt is also deliberate disobedience or open disrespect of the rules of a court or a legislative body.

  • The judge held the attorney in contempt of court when she repeatedly arrived late for the trial.
  • The chairman of the Senate committee held the witness in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer his questions.

Don't confuse it with

content: satisfied. Example: “Jane was content to read a book by the fire while her husband skied.”

In pop culture

Here is a news story about a judge who holds himself in contempt of court when his cellphone rings.

There are other meanings of contempt.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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