lack of respect -- often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
I tell you, if I had stood by, tamely and passively, I should have hated myself, and merited the contempt of every man in existence.
’You’d have little enough to live upon, if you did,’ retorted the uncle, eyeing him contemptuously.
’I called in, on my way upstairs, more than half expecting to find you here,’ said Ralph, addressing his niece, and looking contemptuously at the portrait.
’IF you catch him,’ retorted Mrs Squeers, contemptuously; ’you are sure to; you can’t help it, if you go the right way to work.
’The "everybody" of the theatre, I suppose?’ said Nicholas, contemptuously.
’Mind it!’ repeated Mrs Lillyvick contemptuously.
’I am not afraid of that,’ replied Nicholas, shrugging his shoulders contemptuously, and turning away.
’I leave such society, with my pa, for Hever,’ said Miss Squeers, looking contemptuously and loftily round.
As the lady condescended to make no reply, but tossed her head contemptuously, and murmured some further expression of surprise regarding the absence of the green chariot, one or two voices urged upon the president himself, the propriety of making an attempt for the general benefit.
’This is the hend, is it,’ said Miss Squeers, tossing her head, and looking contemptuously at the floor, ’of my taking notice of that rubbishing creature, and demeaning myself to patronise her?’
Show more again
Sir Mulberry looked at him contemptuously, and, addressing his companions, said— ’Let the fellow talk, I have nothing serious to say to boys of his station; and his pretty sister shall save him a broken head, if he talks till midnight.’
’He said!’ repeated Ralph, contemptuously.
But, pending the salutation, Miss Knag, who was tinged with curiosity, stepped accidentally behind the glass, and encountered the lively young lady’s eye just at the very moment when she kissed the old lord; upon which the young lady, in a pouting manner, murmured something about ’an old thing,’ and ’great impertinence,’ and finished by darting a look of displeasure at Miss Knag, and smiling contemptuously.
There are no more uses of "contempt" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.
Show samples from other sources
Familiarity breeds contempt.
He was impolite. She pretended not to notice except that she treated him with contempt.
’Well,’ said Miss Price, beckoning him aside, and speaking with some degree of contempt—’you ARE a one to keep company.’
’I do not, ma’am,’ said Kate, with quiet contempt.
Mr Nickleby glanced at these frivolities with great contempt, and gave a double knock, which, having been thrice repeated, was answered by a servant girl with an uncommonly dirty face.
One was the flippant contempt with which the guests evidently regarded her uncle, and the other, the easy insolence of their manner towards herself.
As they by no means improved on better acquaintance, and as familiarity breeds contempt, he resolved to banish them from his thoughts by dint of hard walking.
Country!’ cried Tim, with a contemptuous emphasis; ’don’t you know that I couldn’t have such a court under my bedroom window, anywhere, but in London?’
’I hold you in the bitterest detestation and contempt, sir,’ said Kate.
’Object of my scorn and hatred!’ said Mr Lenville, ’I hold ye in contempt.’
At length he yawned, stretched himself, and rose; walked coolly to the glass, and having surveyed himself therein, turned round and honoured Nicholas with a long and contemptuous stare.
Mr Crowl, with a look of some contempt, was about to enter a general protest against the payment of rates or taxes, under any circumstances, when he was checked by a timely whisper from Kenwigs, and several frowns and winks from Mrs K., which providentially stopped him.
Show more again
Nobody but the young man to whom these words were addressed could have been deaf to the sneering tone in which they were spoken, or blind to the look of contempt by which they were accompanied.
’Why, what a man you are to ask!’ cried Peg, with some contempt.
’His extravagance, Mr Nickleby,’ said Madame Mantalini, addressing herself to Ralph, who leant against his easy-chair with his hands behind him, and regarded the amiable couple with a smile of the supremest and most unmitigated contempt,—’his extravagance is beyond all bounds.’
But some indistinct allusions to a ’puss,’ and a ’minx,’ and a ’contemptible creature,’ escaped her; and this, together with a severe biting of the lips, great difficulty in swallowing, and very frequent comings and goings of breath, seemed to imply that feelings were swelling in Miss Squeers’s bosom too great for utterance.
Ralph looked at him with a contemptuous frown, and replied with a sneer, and between his teeth: ’Did you mark his telling her she was tired and did too much, and overtasked her strength?’
Uttering these words with supreme contempt and great irritation of manner, Ralph signed hastily to Newman to leave the room; and throwing himself into his chair, beat his foot impatiently upon the ground.
To this he was impelled by various considerations; among which the certainty of knowing whatever the weak young man knew was decidedly not the least, as the desire of encountering the usurer’s niece again, and using his utmost arts to reduce her pride, and revenge himself for her contempt, was uppermost in his thoughts.
With these words the friendly creature took his companion’s arm and led him away, turning half round as he did so, and bestowing a wink and a contemptuous smile on Messrs Pyke and Pluck, who, cramming their handkerchiefs into their mouths to denote their silent enjoyment of the whole proceedings, followed their patron and his victim at a little distance.
Nicholas bit his lip and knit his hands involuntarily, for his fingerends tingled to avenge the insult; but remembering that the man was drunk, and that it could come to little but a noisy brawl, he contented himself with darting a contemptuous look at the tyrant, and walked, as majestically as he could, upstairs: not a little nettled, however, to observe that Miss Squeers and Master Squeers, and the servant girl, were enjoying the scene from a snug corner; the two former indulging inů
So long as he had been a passive instrument in his hands, Sir Mulberry had regarded him with no other feeling than contempt; but, now that he presumed to avow opinions in opposition to his, and even to turn upon him with a lofty tone and an air of superiority, he began to hate him.
Although he expressed himself in this derisive and contemptuous manner, it was plain that, the more Ralph pondered, the more ill at ease he became, and the more he laboured under some vague anxiety and alarm, which increased as the time passed on and no tidings of Newman Noggs arrived.
Notwithstanding the deadly hatred which Ralph felt towards Nicholas, and the bitter contempt with which he sneered at poor Mrs Nickleby—notwithstanding the baseness with which he had behaved, and was then behaving, and would behave again if his interest prompted him, towards Kate herself—still there was, strange though it may seem, something humanising and even gentle in his thoughts at that moment.
Regardless of this circumstance, however, Mrs Lillyvick refused to be comforted until the belligerents had passed their words that the dispute should be carried no further, which, after a sufficient show of reluctance, they did, and from that time Mr Folair sat in moody silence, contenting himself with pinching Nicholas’s leg when anything was said, and so expressing his contempt both for the speaker and the sentiments to which he gave utterance.
Mrs Nickleby looked very grand, not to say contemptuous, at this humiliating proposal; and, turning to the old gentleman, who had watched them during these whispers with absorbing eagerness, said: ’If you will conduct yourself, sir, like the gentleman I should imagine you to be, from your language and—and—appearance, (quite the counterpart of your grandpapa, Kate, my dear, in his best days,) and will put your question to me in plain words, I will answer it.’