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contempt

[kuh n-tempt] /kənˈtɛmpt/
noun
1.
the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.
2.
the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace.
3.
Law.
  1. willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or orders of a court (contempt of court) or legislative body.
  2. an act showing such disrespect.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin contemptus a slighting = contemn(ere) to despise, scorn (see contemn) + -tus suffix of v. action (with loss of n and intrusive p)
Related forms
self-contempt, noun
Synonyms
contempt , disdain , scorn imply strong feelings of disapproval and aversion toward what seems base, mean, or worthless. contempt is disapproval tinged with disgust: to feel contempt for a weakling . disdain is a feeling that a person or thing is beneath one's dignity and unworthy of one's notice, respect, or concern: a disdain for crooked dealing . scorn denotes open or undisguised contempt often combined with derision: He showed only scorn for those who were not as ambitious as himself.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for contempt of court
  • We have contempt of court, whether or not it is contemptible is not in question.
  • Prisoners may vote if they are doing time for non-payment of fines or, strangely, contempt of court.
  • These can compel witness, hold people in contempt of court, and generally throw their weight around.
  • Her behaviour during the proceedings of this case would have landed her in jail for contempt of court in any western judiciary.
  • She was detained on charges of contempt of court and did that perfectly well.
  • If he refuses, he can be found in contempt of court but not jailed.
  • If one is found or held in contempt of court, he/she may be fined, placed in jail or both.
  • Failure to do so will result in an order to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court.
British Dictionary definitions for contempt of court

contempt

/kənˈtɛmpt/
noun
1.
the attitude or feeling of a person towards a person or thing that he considers worthless or despicable; scorn
2.
the state of being scorned; disgrace (esp in the phrase hold in contempt)
3.
wilful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law or legislative body: contempt of court
Word Origin
C14: from Latin contemptus a despising, from contemnere to contemn
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 contempt of court

contempt

n.

late 14c., from Latin contemptus "scorn," from past participle of contemnere "to scorn, despise," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + *temnere "to slight, scorn," of uncertain origin. Phrase contempt of court is attested from 19c., though the idea is several centuries older.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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contempt of court in Culture

contempt of court definition


The deliberate obstruction of a court's proceedings by refusing to obey a court order or by interfering with court procedures. Contempt of court can be punished by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with contempt of court
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for contempt

14
18
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