condescend | condescending | condescension

Exam frequency

GRE

high

Banks

high

Civil Services

high

Meaning(s)

patronize or act superior to somebody

Check Icon How to Memorize

condescend - patronize

Check Icon Analysis

If you ‘condescend’ to somebody, you belittle or talk down to them, usually because you feel superior and/or lack respect for them. As you can see, the word contains ‘descend’, which means to go lower, so a good way of remembering how to use the term is to think of feeling as if you have to lower yourself to deal with a particular person or situation. Typically used to show disapproval.

ExamsSpokenOther
Synonyms demean,belittle
Antonyms appreciate

Check Icon Example(s)

  1. The IT specialist has a tendency to condescend to other members of staff when it comes to computers. He treats them like idiots who need things explained in the most basic terms.

  2. There was a hint of surprise to my manager’s voice when she congratulated me on completing the task, which I thought was very condescending.

  3. Despite her credentials, Anne felt that she was treated with condescension by some co-workers in a male-dominated industry.

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