Word of The Day for Tuesday, November 23, 2010


vil•i•pend (VIL-uh-pend)  v

1. to view or treat with contempt, despise
2. to speak ill of, disparage

vilipended past participle; vilipended past tense; vilipending present participle; vilipends 3rd person singular present; vilipender noun; vilipenditory adjective

1425–75;  late ME < LL vilipendere,  equiv. to L vili ( s ) cheap + pendere  to consider

Synonyms: belittle, derogate, diminish, discredit, disesteem, depreciate, traduce, calumniate
Related Words: from vilis: vilify, vile, revile; from pendere: pendulous, pendant, impend, stipend, pending

Sentence Examples:
• I am the object of her detestation. ... She will seize her opportunity to vilipend me, and I shall be condemned by the kind of court-martial which hurries over the forms of a brial to sign the execution-warrant that makes it feel like justice. You will see. -The Tragic Comedians, George Meredith

• The States could hardly be blamed for their opposition to the Earl's administration, for he had thrown himself completely into the arms of a faction, whose object was to vilipend and traduce them, and it was now difficult for him to recover the functions of which the Queen had deprived him. -History of the United Netherlands, John Lothrop Motley

• "You are not to vilipend my counsel," said he one day to a foreign envoy. "I am neither a camel nor an ass to take up all this work on my shoulders. Where would you find another king as willing to do it as I am?" -The Life of John of Barneveld, John Lothrop Motley

The Storyline
...which should not understood to vilipend her profession in any way, but managing a book store was no cakewalk.

Why This Word:

Etymologically speaking, to define vilipend using vilify is to commit a tautology, since both derive from Latin vilis, vile or worthless, which is also obviously enough the source of English vile. Vilipend also includes the verb pendere, to weigh or estimate. To vilipend is to weigh somebody in the balance and find them not worth considering. It appeared in English in the fifteenth century and was a popular term right down into the nineteenth, though it has since dropped out of sight.

Sources: Free Dictionary, Dictionary.com

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