If the mere thought of a burrito with sour cream in it turns your stomach, you could say that you despise sour cream. You loathe it, abhor it, hate it, and think it's vile.

Despise dates all the way back to the Latin word despicare, which combines de "down" with specere "to look at." So if you look down your nose at something, you could say you despise it. Nowadays the word gets used a lot to describe things people really, really dislike, too. Note how similar in meaning and spelling despise is to Sylvester the cartoon cat's old favorite catchphrase despicable. Despicable means something worth of being despised.

Definitions of despise
  1. verb
    look down on with disdain
    “He despises the people he has to work for”
    synonyms: contemn, disdain, scorn
    see moresee less
    look down on
    regard with contempt
    type of:
    detest, hate
    dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month