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[dih-spahyz] /dɪˈspaɪz/
verb (used with object), despised, despising.
to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.
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 despised
  • Trull is a lobbyist as despised as she is respected.
  • Were it not for equally despised laws preventing companies from delisting their shares, many foreigners would be gone in a moment.
  • They were prized by hunters and despised by farmers and ranchers who suffered livestock losses at their hands.
  • Your dog knows in a sniff if you have been cavorting with the despised feline next door or fingering his favorite treats.
  • They despised that postmodern president and his real-time policies, and still do now that we're living in the rerun.
  • So in my great southern university town, generally the university is despised and faculty treated as though they are on welfare.
  • People seen as traitors are universally despised and stigmatized.
  • But even so, geeks have come a long way since they were mocked and despised a couple decades ago.
  • Take the case of a lady of our acquaintance who had always greatly despised fishing.
  • Until he learns that lesson he will become more and more despised.
British Dictionary definitions for despised


(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 despised



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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