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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Con·temn v. t. [imp. & p. p. Contemned p. pr. & vb. n. Contemning ]  To view or treat with contempt, as mean and despicable; to reject with disdain; to despise; to scorn.
    Thy pompous delicacies I contemn.   --Milton.
    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.