Contemptible and contemptuous

Many people confuse the words contemptible and contemptuous. Contemptible means despicable. If something is contemptible, it is deserving of contempt. 

  • Spreading gossip is contemptible. 
  • All terrorists are contemptible. 

Contemptuous means feeling contempt for someone or something.

  • I am contemptuous of all terrorists. (= I feel contempt for all terrorists.)
  • Snobs are usually contemptuous of people they feel to be inferior to them.

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