deserving of contempt or disdain; worthy of contempt


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



despicable, detestable, abhorrent, odious, execrable, loathsome


admirable, commendable, likable, respectable, worthy

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun contemptibility, contemptibilities
Verb None
Adjective contemptible
Adverb contemptibly

Example Sentences

  • The contemptible thief stole from the elderly, showing a complete disregard for the vulnerability of others.

  • Her contemptible behavior towards her coworkers, marked by constant belittlement and sabotage, created a toxic work environment.

  • The contemptible and malicious act of spreading baseless and damaging rumors about a colleague irreparably tarnished their personal and professional reputation.

  • The judge viewed the defendant’s behavior as contemptible and sentenced him to a long prison term.


The word “contemptible” originates from the Latin term “contemptibilis,” which means “worthy of scorn or contempt.” It is an adjective used to describe something or someone deserving of disdain, scorn, or strong disapproval. The term implies a low moral standing or a lack of integrity, evoking a sense of strong negative judgment.

The prefix “con-” in “contemptible” intensifies the negative quality or characteristic being described. The root “-tempt-” is derived from the Latin word “temptare,” meaning “to try” or “to test.” This root highlights the idea of evaluating something or someone as being morally repugnant or unworthy.

The usage of “contemptible” revolves around expressing strong disapproval or condemnation of an action, behavior, or character. It conveys a sense of moral outrage or a judgment of inherent wrongdoing. “Contemptible” is often employed to describe acts that are seen as despicable, dishonorable, or beneath ethical standards.

Variations of the word “contemptible” include the noun form “contempt,” which refers to the feeling of disdain or scorn, and the adverb form “contemptibly,” describing actions or behaviors that are characteristic of contemptibility.

Understanding the history and usage of “contemptible” underscores the importance of moral values and ethical conduct in society. It encourages us to hold individuals accountable for their actions and to denounce behaviors that violate basic principles of decency and respect.