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contempt
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Atlas Shrugged
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contempt
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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as in: feels contempt towards him Define
lack of respect -- often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
  • He laughed in their faces, with bitterly incredulous contempt,
  • "Don’t show that you’re scared, Jim," she said contemptuously.

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  • She was talking to a couple of helpless young men, her face contemptuously empty.
  • "Plot is a primitive vulgarity in literature," said Balph Eubank contemptuously.
  • He glanced through the clipping, smiled contemptuously and tossed it aside with a gesture of distaste.
  • Pat Logan, the engineer, a short, sinewy man with graying hair and a contemptuously inscrutable face, posed in a manner of amused indifference.
  • "Public relations?" he said contemptuously.
  • She had shrugged, contemptuously amused; if it served his purpose, whatever that was, to appropriate her achievements, then, for his own advantage, if for no other reason, he would leave her free to achieve, from now on.
  • She swung her cane and tossed it contemptuously into the car.
  • He waved contemptuously at the dusty horizon of an empty prairie and at the three wooden grandstands.

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  • said the beggar contemptuously, and walked away.
  • "Come in, Jim," she said, turning contemptuously, walking into the living room.
  • Dr. Stadler ordered contemptuously.
  • She saw the anger in his face-the rebellion against pity-the look of saying to her contemptuously that he had betrayed no torture and needed no help-then the look of the realization that she knew his face as thoroughly as he knew hers-he closed his eyes, he inclined his head a little, and he said very quietly, "Thank you."
  • Two husky men walked by his sides; they were from the department of Morale Conditioning, but did not trouble to hide what method of conditioning they would welcome a chance to employ, "Just remember Mr. Thompson’s orders," one of them told him contemptuously.
  • …ability to recognize it, they had the eager curiosity that would venture anywhere with the certainty that life held nothing unworthy of or closed to discovery, and they looked as if, should they encounter malevolence, they would reject it contemptuously, not as dangerous, but as stupid, they would not accept it in bruised resignation as the law of existence, "They represent my particular career, Miss Taggart," said the young mother in answer to her comment, wrapping a loaf of fresh…
  • If you’d only wait for a couple of years-" Rearden chuckled, gaily, contemptuously.
  • Don’t cross that bridge till I come to it," Pat Logan answered contemptuously.
  • Rearden smiled contemptuously, "Aren’t you one of those damn altruists who spends his time on a non-profit venture and risks his life merely to serve others?

  • There are no more uses of "contempt" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • He was impolite. She pretended not to notice except that she treated him with contempt.

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unspecified meaning
  • I am not committing the contemptible act of asking you to take me on faith.
  • When called upon, he moved with contemptuous slowness.

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  • Rearden felt contempt for groups of that kind and saw no reason for a closer inquiry into their nature.
  • There, he thought, was the most contemptible representative of the species.
  • But an almost unendurable contempt made him close his eyes, instead.
  • She thought: You’re tired-and watched her own mood with severe, contemptuous detachment, knowing that it would pass.
  • Through the years of her childhood, Dagny lived in the future-in the world she expected to find, where she would not have to feel contempt or boredom.
  • He turned the light on again, with a single, contemptuous jerk of his wrist.
  • Jim’s smile had a touch of triumph, the triumph of finding cause to feel contempt.
  • Days later, sitting at her desk at Rockdale Station, feeling lightheartedly at home, Dagny thought of the party and shrugged in contemptuous reproach at her own disappointment.

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  • Dr. Stadler reached over and made the book slide from the corner to the center of his desk, with a contemptuous flick of one hand.
  • He tossed the manuscript down on the desk with a casual, contemptuous movement of his wrist.
  • There had been a faint tone of amusement in Rearden’s voice; now it hardened into a hint of contempt.
  • Rearden asked sharply, as if the contempt of the second question could erase the confidence of the first.
  • But it’s nothing, compared to the contempt I feel for myself.
  • Then he shrugged and waved his hand in a gesture of contempt.
  • Tell me, why do you keep making those cracks? I know that you feel contempt for the plumbing pipes.
  • Your contempt means nothing to me.
  • I fully realize your contempt for that branch of science.
  • A strange sense, which was almost a sense of style, made Rearden feel contempt for the boy, but no resentment.
  • There was the faint suggestion of a contemptuous smile in his face, at once admitting and mocking his knowledge of her hours of impatience and his own.
  • He stood looking down at her naked body, he leaned over, she heard his voice-it was more a statement of contemptuous triumph than a question: "You want it?"
  • He was so tired of all those people, he thought in contemptuous bitterness; he dealt with cosmic rays, while they were unable to deal with an electric storm.
  • The fourth, who was the youngest, had looked at her silently for a moment and the lines of his face had slithered from blankness into a suggestion of contempt.
  • The contempt in Rearden’s voice had a note of relief; he had been disarmed by a doubt of his judgment on the character of his adversary; now he felt certain once more.
  • He kept seeing the eyes of the men of the Board when they spoke about his greatness: a sly, filmy look that held contempt for him and, more terrifyingly, for themselves.
  • It’s no use pretending about it, we all know it-and I think it’s contemptible.
  • I did it-in the name of pity for the most contemptible woman I know.
  • To me-the foulest man on earth, more contemptible than a criminal, is the employer who rejects men for being too good.
  • Slowly, patiently, with contemptuous politeness, the conductor gave him an exact account of the situation.
  • Now, he felt a contemptuous indifference and no desire to save them.
  • Who made it our duty to accept, as the only reward for our work, the gray torture of pretending love for those who roused us to nothing but contempt?
  • She wanted to injure him by her contempt-but he could not be injured, unless he respected her judgment.
  • He noted, in weary contempt, that the three at the table remained silent.
  • You’d be incapable of self-contempt.
  • Dagny’s mouth showed a faint line of astonishment and of contempt.
  • In the city, she had lived in chronic tension to withstand the shock of anger, indignation, disgust, contempt.
  • She had always wondered, in incredulous contempt, about the sects that preached the annihilation of the universe as the ideal to be attained.
  • He felt the tight, contemptuous movement of his lips pressed together in token of the words he cried to himself: You made a contract once, now stick to it.
  • Years ago, he had wondered with contemptuous incredulity about the fanatical sects that appeared among men in the dark corners of history, the sects who believed that man was trapped in a malevolent universe ruled by evil for the sole purpose of his torture.
  • God help them all-he thought, driving through the dark streets of a small town, borrowing, in contemptuous pity, the words of their belief which he had never shared.
  • Until men learn that of all human symbols, Robin Hood is the most immoral and the most contemptible, there will be no justice on earth and no way for mankind to survive.
  • She heard Francisco’s contemptuous chuckle and the rush of his steps, she saw her door flung open, and she noticed dimly that it was Galt who closed it, leaving them alone.
  • The great man who was so contemptuous-in business-of weaklings who trimmed corners or fell by the wayside, because they couldn’t match his strength of character and steadfastness of purpose!
  • He will not acknowledge his need of self-esteem, since he scoffs at such a concept as moral values; yet he feels the profound self-contempt which comes from believing that he is a piece of meat.
  • Even from within that unstated, unnamed, undefined muck which represented his code of values, he was able to realize which one of them was the more dependent on the other and the more contemptible.
  • He looked at her as if the question were a sight visualized in every detail, a sight he loathed, but would not abandon; she heard the contempt in his voice, the hatred, the suffering-and an odd eagerness that did not pertain to torture; he had asked the question, holding her body tight against him.
  • But the wonder was swallowed by the sight of the college boy’s face, which he could not bear to see, by a wave of contempt, by the wordless thought that if this was the enemy, there was nothing to fear.
  • She felt no pity for the stranger, only a contemptuous impatience; she had to fight him and destroy him, then her way would be clear to decide what she wished to do; but the stranger was not easy to fight.
  • His manner was that of dealing with the normal and the natural, it suggested a sense of safety, it held no tone of condemnation, but a hint of comradeship, a comradeship based-for both of them-on self-contempt.
  • He looked straight at her for the first time, his eyes narrowed, his face relaxed to the same half-smile as hers, suggesting the expression which, for both of them, meant that they felt at home with each other: an expression of contempt.
  • You’re the man who would know that just as an idea unexpressed in physical action is contemptible hypocrisy, so is platonic love-and just as physical action unguided by an idea is a fool’s self-fraud, so is sex when cut off from one’s code of values.
  • But Galt understood; he glanced at her and the glance was part amusement, part contemptuous reproach.
  • The taxi driver gave a brief, contemptuous chuckle-and snapped the radio off.
  • His lower lip swelled a little in a faint, contemptuous thrust.
  • He was looking at Jim with bored contempt.
  • It was not-as it is for most of youan act of casual indulgence and mutual contempt.
  • He burst out laughing; she was unable to believe that the laughter had a sound of malicious contempt.
  • He would not explain-almost as if the fact of his contempt were sufficient and required no reasons.
  • "Yes," she said, with the same darkness of contempt in her eyes, "both of us."
  • The thin tremor that ran along Mr. Thompson’s lips was a smile of contempt.
  • The contempt in Taggart’s voice sounded abnormally stressed, as if the sight of someone’s greater fear were tempting him to defy his own.
  • He spoke little, but when he did, it was to snap decisively, with a contemptuous grin, "Pipe down, Jimmy!" or, "Nuts, Wes, you’re talking through your hat!"
  • Mr. Thompson was pacing among the groups, snapping at random bystanders, in the restless manner of a man of action who feels contempt for the duty of making speeches.
  • The mechanic was staring at Galt; he was holding Galt’s glance-and even he was able to recognize the nature of the sparkle in the dark green eyes; it was a sparkle of contemptuous mockery.
  • What Dr. Ferris was seeing in Rearden’s face was the look of luminous serenity that comes from the sudden answer to an old, dark problem, a look of relaxation and eagerness together; there was a youthful clarity in Rearden’s eyes and the faintest touch of contempt in the line of his mouth.
  • He was shocked to see that she smiled-a smile of so fiercely bitter a contempt that it seemed incredible on her gently patient face; she was not looking at him, but at some image of her own.
  • The figure now slouching against the sky on the speakers platform, coiling itself about the microphone, talking in the bored, contemptuous tone of an off-color story, was Dr. Simon Pritchett.
  • If there are degrees of evil, it is hard to say who is the more contemptible: the brute who assumes the right to force the mind of others or the moral degenerate who grants to others the right to force his mind.
  • I want you to look at me whenever you hear of some act of depravity, or feel anger at human corruption, or feel contempt for someone’s knavery, or are the victim of a new governmental extortion-to look and to know that you’re no better, that you’re superior to no one, that there’s nothing you have the right to condemn.
  • She had not known that a face could age so greatly within the brief space of one year: the look of timeless energy, of boyish eagerness, was gone, and nothing remained of the face except the lines of contemptuous bitterness.
  • It was the contempt that pleased him; it was the strange, heedless, unfamiliar pleasure of knowing that this woman saw him as he was, yet remained held by his presence, remained and leaned back in her chair, as if declaring her bondage.
  • The mystic parasites who have, throughout the ages, reviled the traders and held them in contempt, while honoring the beggars and the looters, have known the secret motive of their sneers: a trader is the entity they dread-a man of justice.
  • She stood, in unexacting stupor, until she heard the muffled drawl of two voices behind the door of Jim’s bedroom; she could not distinguish the words, only the quality of the sounds: Jim’s voice had a tone of irritation, the woman’s-of contempt.
  • They seemed to say that they owed me nothing, that their deafness had provided me with a moral goal, that it had been my duty to struggle, to suffer, to bear-for their sake-whatever sneers, contempt, injustice, torture they chose to inflict upon me, to bear it in order to teach them to enjoy my work, that this was their rightful due and my proper purpose.
  • For almost two decades, that emotion had been buried under a mount of wreckage, as the years had added layer upon gray layer of contempt, of indignation, of his struggle not to look around him, not to see those he dealt with, not to expect anything from men and to keep, as a private vision within the four walls of his office, the sense of that world into which he had hoped to rise.
  • …would never have the right to leavethe thought that he owed her at least the feeble recognition of sympathy, of respect for a feeling he could neither understand nor returnthe knowledge that he could summon nothing for her, except contempt, a strange, total, unreasoning contempt, impervious to pity, to reproach, to his own pleas for justice-and, hardest to bear, the proud revulsion against his own verdict, against his demand that he consider himself lower than this woman he despised.
  • …him and he would never have the right to leavethe thought that he owed her at least the feeble recognition of sympathy, of respect for a feeling he could neither understand nor returnthe knowledge that he could summon nothing for her, except contempt, a strange, total, unreasoning contempt, impervious to pity, to reproach, to his own pleas for justice-and, hardest to bear, the proud revulsion against his own verdict, against his demand that he consider himself lower than this woman he…
  • With an awed contempt-awed by the enormity of the sight-she wondered what inner degradation those men had to reach in order to arrive at a level of self-deception where they would seek the extorted approval of an unwilling victim as the moral sanction they needed, they who thought that they were merely deceiving the world.
  • It was his tone of overbearing authority, his contempt and their own panic-the blind panic of men of unbridled violence, who have no standards of safety or danger-that made them waver and wonder whether he was, perhaps, some secret top-level member of their leadership; they were equally ready to defy or to obey any authority.
  • …and I were asked to immolate myself for the sake of creatures who wanted to survive at the price of my blood, if I were asked to serve the interests of society apart from, above and against my own-I would refuse, I would reject it as the most contemptible evil, I would fight it with every, power I possess, I would fight the whole of mankind, if one minute were all I could last before I were murdered, I would fight in the full confidence of the justice of my battle and of a living…
  • Approaching Lillian once more, Rearden said without anger, the contempt becoming amusement in his voice, "I didn’t know you knew that one.
  • He said: "What I feel for you is contempt.
  • …metal, so you do not value a rotter above a hero-that your moral appraisal is the coin paying men for their virtues or vices, and this payment demands of you as scrupulous an honor as you bring to financial transactions-that to withhold your contempt from men’s vices is an act of moral counterfeiting, and to withhold your admiration from their virtues is an act of moral embezzlement-that to place any other concern higher than justice is to devaluate your moral currency and defraud the…
  • …desires the best in all things, in values of matter and spirit, a soul that seeks above all else to achieve its own moral perfection, valuing nothing higher than itself-and that the proof of an achieved self-esteem is your soul’s shudder of contempt and rebellion against the role of a sacrificial animal, against the vile impertinence of any creed that proposes to immolate the irreplaceable value which is your consciousness and the incomparable glory which is your existence to the blind…
  • His look of accusation, as he whirled to Rearden, broke against the faintly contemptuous reproof of Rearden’s voice: "That’s no way to guard a building-if this is what you allowed to happen.
  • She was looking at him, her eyes dark with an odd, lifeless stillness; when she spoke, the motion of her lips was twisted by so evil a contempt that he did not dare identify it beyond knowing that it embraced them both; she said, "I know that you’d like to do it.
  • I’ve damned you for those mines, I’ve denounced you, I’ve thrown my contempt at you in every way possible, and now I come back to you-for money.
  • But he raised his head to glance up at her face, and it seemed to her that the look she saw in his eyes was part-gratification, part-contempt-almost as if, by some unknown kind of sanction, she had absolved him and damned herself.
  • But the damned and the guiltiest among you are the men who had the capacity to know, yet chose to blank out reality, the men who were willing to sell their intelligence into cynical servitude to force: the contemptible breed of those mystics of science who profess a devotion to some sort of ’pure knowledge’ the purity consisting of their claim that such knowledge has no practical purpose on this earth-who reserve their logic for inanimate matter, but believe that the subject of dealing…

  • There are no more uses of "contempt" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: feels contempt towards him Define
lack of respect -- often accompanied by a feeling of intense dislike or disgust
as in: held in contempt of court Define
the crime of willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body
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