Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.
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.
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.
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.
Despite her credentials, Anne felt that she was treated with condescension by some co-workers in a male-dominated industry.