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[kon-duh-send] /ˌkɒn dəˈsɛnd/
verb (used without object)
to behave as if one is conscious of descending from a superior position, rank, or dignity.
to stoop or deign to do something:
He would not condescend to misrepresent the facts.
to put aside one's dignity or superiority voluntarily and assume equality with one regarded as inferior:
He condescended to their intellectual level in order to be understood.
  1. to yield.
  2. to assent.
Origin of condescend
1300-50; Middle English condescenden < Late Latin condēscendere (see con-, descend); replacing Middle English condescendre < Middle French
Related forms
condescender, condescendent, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for condescend
Historical Examples
  • Until you condescend to explain, I can't allow you to mix with the rest of the school.

  • But by what process a "vital unit" can be evolved, he does not condescend to tell us.

    Life: Its True Genesis R. W. Wright
  • Jeanbernat did not condescend to notice them, but went his way, upright like a tree, through the clear night.

  • We cannot, therefore, condescend to imitate him in the way you speak of.

  • If I could afford it a hundred times over, I would not condescend to such folly.

    More About Peggy Mrs G. de Horne Vaizey
  • Would she not condescend to wear a few gems in her petticoat?

    Confessions Of Con Cregan Charles James Lever
  • Alice would not condescend to join her reprobate brother, even in abuse of Adela.

    Demos George Gissing
  • Our wives, if they condescend to have any offspring at all, limit the output to one.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
  • A kind, proud woman, who'll do what people with no pride would not condescend to think of.

    The Well-Beloved Thomas Hardy
  • Only once did he condescend to explain them fully, but the impression was lasting.

British Dictionary definitions for condescend


verb (intransitive)
to act graciously towards another or others regarded as being on a lower level; behave patronizingly
to do something that one regards as below one's dignity
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin condēscendere to stoop, condescend, from Latin dēscendere to descend
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for condescend

mid-14c., "to yield deferentially," from Old French condescendere (14c.) "to agree, consent, give in, yield," from Late Latin condescendere "to let oneself down," from Latin com- "together" (see com-) + descendere "descend" (see descend). Sense of "to sink willingly to equal terms with inferiors" is from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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