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Adjective form of contempt

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Meyer Wolfsheim, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Meyer Wolfsheim Senior Member

    East Egg
    Hello everyone,
    What is the proper inflection for the noun "contempt" to make it an adjective? Or is it defective and not have an adjective form?

    I'm try to write: A (contempt adjective) tone.

    Or does one have to write?: A tone full of contempt.
  2. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Santa Maria, CA
    English (U.S.)
  3. In other contexts, there's contemptible.

  4. Imber Ranae Senior Member

    English - USA
    Contemptuous has an active meaning, contemptible passive.
  5. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    A contemptible tone would be a tone that others find worthy of contempt. A contemptuous tone would be a tone that a speaker used to express contempt of something or someone.

    I think you want "contemptuous" in this context since you said "a tone full of contempt".
  6. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I see nothing in the WRD definition of contemptible to indicate that it's related to the passive voice. It's only listed as an adjective.
  7. Imber Ranae Senior Member

    English - USA
    I didn't say anything about the passive voice. Adjectives don't have grammatical voice, obviously. I was talking about the meaning.
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I'm sorry, but I just don't understand. Could you please explain how "contemptible" is related to passivity?

    As in, for example: "You are contemptible!"

    Thanks for your help.
  9. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    You are contemptible.
    I hold you in contempt.

    I think Imber Ranae's explanation is quite clear. It is perhaps a non-technical use of the word "passive", but accurate for all that. You are contemptible, you are the object of my contempt.
  10. Imber Ranae Senior Member

    English - USA
    "A contemptuous smile" = A smile that shows contempt towards others
    "A contemptible person" = A person who is (or ought to be) held in contempt by others

    Edit: or what Nunty said.

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