Someone or something that's contemptible receives harsh judgment and deserves it. Your desire to bring to justice the contemptible coward who stole your last chocolate bar seemed noble, until you realized you'd eaten it the night before.

Contemptible means "worthy of contempt," and is one of several words of its kind that end with -ible rather than -able, which would mean something more like "capable of contempt," (and isn't a word). You could remember that “I find it contemptible!” begins with “I.” If you don't, some will consider your spelling errors to be minor offenses, while others will declare them . . . contemptible!

Definitions of contemptible
  1. adjective
    deserving of contempt or scorn
    synonyms: misbegotten
    abject, low, low-down, miserable, scummy, scurvy
    of the most contemptible kind
    bastardly, mean
    of no value or worth
    pathetic, pitiable, pitiful
    inspiring mixed contempt and pity
    completely lacking nobility in character or quality or purpose
    lacking in value or merit
    see moresee less
    deserving of respect or high regard
    deserving of the highest esteem or admiration
    having worth or merit or value; being honorable or admirable
    show more antonyms...
Commonly confused words

contemptible / contemptuous

Something contemptible is worthy of scorn, like the contemptible jerk who's mean to your sister; but contemptuous is full of it, like the contemptuous look you give that guy as he speeds away in his gas guzzler.

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Word Family

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