Contempt Con*tempt" (k[o^]n*t[e^]mt"; 215), n. [L. contemptus, fr. contemnere: cf. OF. contempt. See {Contemn}.] 1. The act of contemning or despising; the feeling with which one regards that which is esteemed mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. [1913 Webster]

Criminal contempt of public feeling. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Nothing, says Longinus, can be great, the contempt of which is great. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

2. The state of being despised; disgrace; shame. [1913 Webster]

Contempt and begarry hangs upon thy back. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

3. An act or expression denoting contempt. [1913 Webster]

Little insults and contempts. --Spectator. [1913 Webster]

The contempt and anger of his lip. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. (Law) Disobedience of the rules, orders, or process of a court of justice, or of rules or orders of a legislative body; disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent language or behavior in presence of a court, tending to disturb its proceedings, or impair the respect due to its authority. [1913 Webster]

Note: Contempt is in some jurisdictions extended so as to include publications reflecting injuriously on a court of justice, or commenting unfairly on pending proceedings; in other jurisdictions the courts are prohibited by statute or by the constitution from thus exercising this process.

Syn: Disdain; scorn; derision; mockery; contumely; neglect; disregard; slight. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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