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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 despise
  • I'm sure it is unfair to misquote even those you despise.
  • Yet, the secular world appears to despise both the message and the messengers.
  • You become what you most despise.
  • The title story brings these themes together as a lonely widower remarries a woman his children despise.
  • Monkeys not only don't listen to our music, they seemed to despise it.
  • Generally, I despise reductionary thinking.
  • He would despise my poor understanding of Philosophy anyway.
  • They're not worrying about what comes next for a man they so clearly despise.
  • Unlike the policies you set for yourself, a country is inflexible, and people despise uncertainty.
  • But you never know, she herself might know about the murdering of cetaceans and might also despise the practice.
British Dictionary definitions for despise


(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 despise

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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