Word of the Day

Monday, March 28, 2005


\kuhn-TEM\ , transitive verb;
To regard or treat with disdain or contempt; to scorn; to despise.
Nor, despite his seeming Jansenist severity, would Pascal contemn such pleasures. Even he, the least therapeutic writer imaginable, admits that diversions can help to heal the beset soul.
-- Edward T. Oakes, "Pascal: The First Modern Christian", First Things, August 1, 1999
The spectrum of difference exhibited at these shows suggests varying relationships with the West: some artists identify with or at least acknowledge the Western tradition, some contemn it.
-- Thomas McEvilley, "Arrivederci Venice", ArtForum, November 1993
We may well pity those who find themselves in disagreement, for their lot is a hard one; but some of us who now warmly support the war cannot find it in our hearts to contemn all so-called pacifists, or even those who are torn by conflicting allegiances.
-- James Harvey Robinson, "The Threatened Eclipse of Free Speech", The Atlantic, December 1917
Contemn is derived from Latin contemnere, from com-, intensive prefix + temnere, "to despise."
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