A Word A Day : Contumelious

Thursday, 15th May 2008 : Today's Word is ...


( Adjective )

Pronunciation : fawrt & fáwr-tày


1. having or showing an insulting, scornful or contemptuous attitude

2. rudeness or contempt arising from arrogance

3. relating to or characterized by verbal abuse


Middle English - contumelie - from Old French - from Latin contumlia - akin to contumx - insolent


assuming, assumptive, audacious, bold, boldfaced, brash, brazen, cheeky, familiar, forward, impertinent, impudent, insolent, malapert, nervy, overconfident, pert, presuming, presumptuous, pushy, sassy, saucy, smart


friendly, lovely

Contextual Examples:

• Van Schuylight Suffolk-Jones--came out to his waiting motor-car, wrinkling a contumelious nostril, as usual, at the Italian renaissance sculpture of the soap palace's front elevation.

• Too often she betrayed this, by the undue vent she gave to a spiteful antipathy she had conceived against little Adele: pushing her away with some contumelious epithet if she happened to approach her; sometimes ordering her from the room, and always treating her with coldness and acrimony.

Related Words:

contumeliously : Adverb

contumeliousness : Noun

contumely : Noun

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