Meaning of “contempt” in the English Dictionary

"contempt" in British English

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contemptnoun [ U ]

uk /kənˈtempt/ us /kənˈtempt/

contempt noun [ U ] (NO RESPECT)

C2 a strong feeling of disliking and having no respect for someone or something:

At school she had complete contempt for all her teachers.
You should treat those remarks with the contempt that they deserve.
She's beneath contempt (= I have no respect for her)!
hold sb/sth in contempt

to feel contempt for someone or something

More examples

  • She looked at him with undisguised contempt.
  • He rewarded their kindness with hostility and contempt.
  • Both Shelley and Byron had a passionate contempt for cant and hypocrisy.
  • The boy shows utter contempt for authority and is virtually uncontrollable.
  • In their senseless killing of innocent people, the terrorists display total contempt for human life.

(Definition of “contempt” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"contempt" in American English

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contemptnoun [ U ]

us /kənˈtempt/

a strong feeling of lack of respect for someone or something:

They were bullies, and they showed contempt for everyone and everything.
contemptuously
adverb us /kənˈtemp·tʃu·əs·li/

He spoke contemptuously of his former boss.

(Definition of “contempt” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)