[syn: contempt, scorn]
4. a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of a court or legislative body;
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Contempt \Con*tempt"\ (k[o^]n*t[e^]mt"; 215), n. [L. contemptus,
fr. contemnere: cf. OF. contempt. See Contemn.]
1. The act of contemning or despising; the feeling with which
one regards that which is esteemed mean, vile, or
worthless; disdain; scorn.
Criminal contempt of public feeling. --Macaulay.
Nothing, says Longinus, can be great, the contempt
of which is great. --Addison.
2. The state of being despised; disgrace; shame.
Contempt and begarry hangs upon thy back. --Shak.
3. An act or expression denoting contempt.
Little insults and contempts. --Spectator.
The contempt and anger of his lip. --Shak.
4. (Law) Disobedience of the rules, orders, or process of a
court of justice, or of rules or orders of a legislative
body; disorderly, contemptuous, or insolent language or
behavior in presence of a court, tending to disturb its
proceedings, or impair the respect due to its authority.
Note: Contempt is in some jurisdictions extended so as to
include publications reflecting injuriously on a court
of justice, or commenting unfairly on pending
proceedings; in other jurisdictions the courts are
prohibited by statute or by the constitution from thus
exercising this process.
Syn: Disdain; scorn; derision; mockery; contumely; neglect;
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: lack of respect accompanied by a feeling of intense
dislike; "he was held in contempt"; "the despite in which
outsiders were held is legendary" [syn: contempt,
disdain, scorn, despite]
2: a manner that is generally disrespectful and contemptuous
[syn: contempt, disrespect]
3: open disrespect for a person or thing [syn: contempt,
4: a willful disobedience to or disrespect for the authority of
a court or legislative body
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
126 Moby Thesaurus words for "contempt":
abhorrence, abjuration, abjurement, affront, antipathy, arrogance,
aspersion, atrocity, audacity, aversion, bold front, boldness,
brash bearing, brashness, brassiness, bravado, brazenfacedness,
brazenness, brickbat, bumptiousness, cheekiness, chucking,
chucking out, cockiness, contemptuousness, contradiction,
contumacy, contumely, cut, daring, daringness, declination,
declining, defial, defiance, defying, denial, denigration,
deprecation, depreciation, derision, despisal, despising, despite,
disapproval, discard, disclamation, discommendation, discounting,
discredit, disdain, disesteem, disfavor, disgust, dishonor,
dismissal, disownment, disparagement, dispraise, disregard,
disrepute, disrespectfulness, distaste, disvaluation, dump,
enormity, exception, exclusion, face of brass, flippancy, flout,
flouting, freshness, gibe, hate, hatred, humiliation, ignominy,
ignoring, impertinence, impudence, indignity, infamy, injury,
insolence, insult, jeer, jeering, loathing, mock, mockery,
nonacceptance, nonapproval, nonconsideration, odium, offense,
opprobrium, outrage, passing by, pertness, put-down, putting away,
putting out, rebuff, recalcitrance, recantation, refusal,
rejection, renouncement, repudiation, repugnance, repulse,
ridicule, rudeness, sauciness, scoff, scorn, scouting, scurrility,
shame, spurning, stubbornness, taunt, throwing out, turning out,
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
CONTEMPT, crim. law. A willful disregard or disobedience of a public
2. By the Constitution of the United States, each house of congress may
determine the rules of its proceeding's, punish its members for disorderly
behaviour, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. The same
provision is substantially contained in the constitutions of the several
3. The power to make rules carries that of enforcing them, and to
attach persons who violate them, and punish them for contempts. This power
of punishing for contempts, is confined to punishment during the session of
the legislature, and cannot extend beyond it; 6 Wheat. R. 204, 230, 231 and,
it seems this power cannot be exerted beyond imprisonment.
4. Courts of justice have an inherent power to punish all persons for
contempt of their rules and orders, for disobedience of their process, and
for disturbing them in their proceedings. Bac. Ab. Courts and their
jurisdiction in general, E; Rolle's Ab. 219; 8 Co. 38 11 Co. 43 b.; 8 Shepl.
550; 5 Ired. R. 199.
5. In some states, as in Pennsylvania, the power to punish for
contempts is restricted to offences committed by the officers of the court,
or in its presence, or in disobedience of its mandates, orders, or rules;
but no one is guilty of a contempt for any publication made or act done out
of court, which is not in violation of such lawful rules or orders, or
disobedience of its process. Similar provisions, limiting the power of the
courts of the United States to punish for contempts, are incorporated in the
Act March 2, 1831. 4 Sharsw. cont. of Stor. L. U. S. 2256. See Oswald's
Case, 4 Lloyd's Debates, 141,. et seq.
6. When a person is in prison for a contempt, it has been decided in
New York that he cannot be discharged by another judge, when brought before
him on a habeas corpus; and, according to Chancellor Kent, 3 Com. 27, it
belongs exclusively to the court offended to judge of contempts, and what
amounts to them; and no other court or judge can, or ought to undertake, in
a collateral way, to question or review an adjudication of a contempt made
by another competent jurisdiction.
This way be considered as the established doctrine equally in England
as in this country. 3 Wils. 188 14 East, R. 12 Bay, R. 182 6 Wheat. R. 204 7
Wheat. R. 38; 1 Breese, R. 266 1 J. J. Marsh. 575; Charlt. R. 136; 1 Blackf.
1669 Johns. 395 6 John. 337.
The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906):
CONTEMPT, n. The feeling of a prudent man for an enemy who is too
formidable safely to be opposed.