Word of the Day

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

contumely

\kon-TYOO-muh-lee; -TOO-; KON-tyoo-mee-lee; -too-; KON-tum-lee\ , noun;
1.
Rudeness or rough treatment arising from haughtiness and contempt; scornful insolence.
2.
An instance of contemptuousness in act or speech.
Quotes:
Nothing aggravates tyranny so much as contumely.
-- Edmund Burke,
The pedlars find satisfaction for all contumelies in making good bargains.
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks
Following years of police harassment and public contumely, he was arrested and charged with high treason, espionage and "anti-Soviet activity."
-- "Know Thyself, Free Thyself", New York Times, June 5, 1988
Origin:
Contumely comes ultimately from Latin contumelia, outrage, insult.
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