9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[kuh n-temp-tuh-buh l] /kənˈtɛmp tə bəl/
deserving of or held in contempt; despicable.
Obsolete, contemptuous.
Origin of contemptible
1350-1400; Middle English (< Middle French) < Late Latin contemptibilis, equivalent to contempt(us) (see contempt) + -ibilis -ible
Related forms
contemptibility, contemptibleness, noun
contemptibly, adverb
noncontemptibility, noun
noncontemptible, adjective
noncontemptibleness, noun
noncontemptibly, adverb
uncontemptibility, noun
uncontemptible, adjective
uncontemptibleness, noun
uncontemptibly, adverb
Can be confused
contemptible, contemptuous.
1. mean, abject, low, base.
1. admirable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contemptible
  • We have contempt of court, whether or not it is contemptible is not in question.
  • And again, that lying to children is praiseworthy rather than contemptible.
  • Militarism is the great preserver of our ideals of hardihood, and human life with no use for hardihood would be contemptible.
  • It makes him feel that all that does not renovate society from his point of view is frivolous and contemptible.
  • There are some contemptible people in the anti-war left, but there are also some people thinking for their lives.
  • Back to the topic at hand: to start multiple wars and then pretend that they don't need to be budgeted for is contemptible.
  • It is all a contemptible fraud that has gone on for decades.
  • So its results are contemptible to true followers of democracy.
  • People must be taught that the contemptible verbiage currently in vogue is not acceptable for any public venue.
  • For some, they are the epitome of conspicuous consumption, a contemptible and wretched excess symptomatic of rot from within.
British Dictionary definitions for contemptible


deserving or worthy of contempt; despicable
Derived Forms
contemptibility, contemptibleness, noun
contemptibly, adverb
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 contemptible

late 14c., from Latin contemptibilis "worthy of scorn," from contempt-, past participle stem of contemnere (see contempt). Related: Contemptibility; contemptibly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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