Deserving or causing disgust or hatred


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



contemptible, detestable, hateful, loathsome, execrable


admirable, lovely, pleasing, attractive, commendable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun despicability, despicableness, despicablenesses, despicabilities
Verb None
Adjective despicable
Adverb despicably

Example Sentences

  • His despicable actions of taking advantage of vulnerable individuals demonstrated a complete lack of empathy.

  • The despicable act of vandalism left the community devastated and seeking justice for the damage caused.

  • She found his behavior towards animals despicable, as he showed no regard for their well-being.

  • The despicable crime of stealing from the elderly exposed the perpetrator’s heartless nature.


The word “despicable” is an adjective used to describe something or someone deserving contempt, disgust, or strong disapproval. Its origin can be traced back to the Latin term “despicabilis,” which means “deserving to be despised.” The word evolved over time to convey a strong sense of moral repugnance or low character.

The prefix “de-” in “despicable” intensifies the meaning by denoting a complete or extreme quality. The root word “spic” is derived from the Latin word “specere,” meaning “to look” or “to see.” Thus, “despicable” implies something that is so contemptible or vile that it can be seen or recognized without doubt.

The usage of “despicable” relates to actions, behaviors, or qualities that are considered highly reprehensible, morally objectionable, or lacking in basic human decency. It signifies an extreme level of repulsiveness, indicating a profound disregard for ethical or societal norms.

Variations of the word “despicable” include the noun form “despicability,” referring to the quality or state of being despicable, and the adverb form “despicably,” describing actions or behaviors that are characteristic of despicability.

Understanding the history and usage of “despicable” reminds us of the importance of moral values and ethical conduct. It serves as a reminder to condemn and reject behavior that is cruel, inhumane, or morally bankrupt, while encouraging us to uphold kindness, compassion, and integrity in our interactions with others.