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[dih-spahyz] /dɪˈspaɪz/
verb (used with object), despised, despising.
to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.
Origin of despise
1250-1300; Middle English despisen < Old French despis-, stem of despire < Latin dēspicere; see despicable
Related forms
despisable, adjective
despisableness, noun
despiser, noun
despisingly, adverb
undespised, adjective
undespising, adjective
contemn, detest.
admire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for despisable
Historical Examples
  • A peddler without goods and without money is sure to be despisable.

    The Spy J. Fenimore Cooper
  • “And then you will be despisable,” said the housekeeper bitterly.

    The Spy J. Fenimore Cooper
  • Hech, but it be a despisable thing to rin open mouth to the—I'll no mention whae—for their greed o' meat.

  • They have a great fishing trade here, as well for supply of the country as for merchandise, and the towns are not despisable.

  • Anything but resentment there would have been unnatural, not to say inhuman and despisable, in a daughter.

    V. V.'s Eyes Henry Sydnor Harrison
British Dictionary definitions for despisable


(transitive) to look down on with contempt; scorn: he despises flattery
Derived Forms
despiser, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French despire, from Latin dēspicere to look down, from de- + specere to look
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 despisable



c.1300, from Old French despis-, present participle stem of despire "to despise," from Latin despicere "look down on, scorn," from de- "down" (see de-) + spicere/specere "look at" (see scope (n.1)). Related: Despised; despising.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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