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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Contemn \Con*temn"\ (k[o^]n*t[e^]m"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Contemned (-t[e^]md); p. pr. & vb. n. Contemning (-t[e^]m"n[i^]ng or -t[e^]m"[i^]ng).] [L. contemnere, -temptum; con- + temnere to slight, despise: cf. OF. contemner.] To view or treat with contempt, as mean and despicable; to reject with disdain; to despise; to scorn. [1913 Webster] Thy pompous delicacies I contemn. --Milton. [1913 Webster] One who contemned divine and human laws. --Dryden. Syn: To despise; scorn; disdain; spurn; slight; neglect; underrate; overlook. Usage: To Contemn, Despise, Scorn, Disdain. Contemn is the generic term, and is applied especially to objects, qualities, etc., which are deemed contemptible, and but rarely to individuals; to despise is to regard or treat as mean, unbecoming, or worthless; to scorn is stronger, expressing a quick, indignant contempt; disdain is still stronger, denoting either unwarrantable pride and haughtiness or an abhorrence of what is base. [1913 Webster]