"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[dis-deyn, dih-steyn] /dɪsˈdeɪn, dɪˈsteɪn/
verb (used with object)
to look upon or treat with contempt; despise; scorn.
to think unworthy of notice, response, etc.; consider beneath oneself:
to disdain replying to an insult.
a feeling of contempt for anything regarded as unworthy; haughty contempt; scorn.
Origin of disdain
1300-50; (v.) Middle English disdainen < Anglo-French de(s)deigner (see dis-1, deign); (noun) Middle English disdeyn < Anglo-French desdai(g)n, derivative of the verb
Related forms
self-disdain, noun
undisdaining, adjective
1. contemn, spurn. 3. haughtiness, arrogance. See contempt.
1. accept. 3. admiration. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disdain
  • Let us not ever filter the subject of art based on the disdain it may invoke in others.
  • This is less a rivalry than a longstanding relationship between franchises and fans who inherited a mutual disdain for each other.
  • His political convictions dictate a certain disdain for the ruling class.
  • However, some spam experts regard them with disdain.
  • Baumgold writes with just the right mix of disdain and empathy.
  • Mine is a job that some intellectuals might disdain.
  • His disdain for reporters, the media in general, is well-known.
  • They disdain reason, and hail devotion and submission to a higher authority.
  • Socrates would witness a vibrant and proud democracy, and disdain it as an indulgence of the benighted, unphilosophical “herd&rdquo.
  • Despite the absence of party backing and the disdain of the city's editorial pages, she ran a raw and raucous campaign -- and won.
British Dictionary definitions for disdain


a feeling or show of superiority and dislike; contempt; scorn
(transitive; may take an infinitive) to refuse or reject with disdain
Word Origin
C13 dedeyne, from Old French desdeign, from desdeigner to reject as unworthy, from Latin dēdignārī; see dis-1, deign
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 disdain

late 14c., from Old French desdeignier "disdain, scorn, refuse, repudiate," from des- "do the opposite of" (see dis-) + deignier "treat as worthy" (see deign). Related: Disdained; disdaining.


mid-14c., desdegne "scorn, contempt," earlier dedeyne "offended dignity" (c.1300), from Old French desdeigne, from desdeignier (see disdain (v.)). Sometimes in early Modern English shortened to sdain, sdainful. Related: disdainful; disdainfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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