Word of The Day for Friday, December 3, 2010


con•tu•me•ly (KON-too-muh-lee)  n

1. insulting display of contempt in words or actions; contemptuous or humiliating treatment
2. a humiliating insult; an insolent or arrogant remark or act

contumeliousness noun; contumelious adjective; contumeliously adverb

1350–1400; from O.Fr. contumelie, from L. contumelia "a reproach, insult," probably related to contumax "haughty, stubborn," from com-, intensive prefix, + tumere "to swell up"

Synonyms: abuse, arrogance, contempt, disdain, insolence, insult, scorn
Related Words: from tumere: tumid, tuber, tumulus, tumult, tumor

Sentence Examples:
• Mr. John Bailey, in a volume of essays entitled 'The Claims of French Poetry,' discussed the qualities of Racine at some length, placed him, not without contumely, among the second rank of writers, and drew the conclusion that, though indeed the merits of French poetry are many and great, it is not among the pages of Racine that they are to be found. -Books and Characters, Lytton Strachey

• When M. Zola first championed Manet and his disciples he was only twenty-six years old, yet he did not hesitate to pit himself against men who were regarded as the most eminent painters and critics of France; and although (even as in the Dreyfus case) the only immediate result of his campaign was to bring him hatred and contumely, time, which always has its revenges, has long since shown how right he was in forecasting the ultimate victory of Manet and his principal methods. -His Masterpiece, Emile Zola

• They were fined in Massachusetts and Connecticut for resistance to oppressive ecclesiastical laws, they were imprisoned in Virginia, and throughout the land were subjected to contumely and reproach. This dislike to the Baptists as a sect, or rather to their principles, was very naturally shared by the higher institutions of learning then in existence. -The New England Magazine, 1886

The Storyline
Interpreting Anna's forbearance as contumely, the man muttered a curse under his breath.

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

No comments:

Post a Comment