• (British) IPA: /ˈkɒntjuːməli/


  1. Offensive and abusive language or behaviour; scorn, insult.
    • c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
      For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time, The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely [...]
    • 1794, Robert Southey, Wat Tyler. A Dramatic Poem. In Three Acts, London: Printed [by J. M‘Creery] for Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, […], published 1817, OCLC 362102 ↗, Act I, page 21 ↗:
      Think of the insults, wrongs, and contumelies, / Ye bear from your proud lords—that your hard toil / Manures their fertile fields—you plow the earth, / You sow the corn, you reap the ripen'd harvest,— / They riot on the produce!— [...]
    • 1857, Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Volume the Second, page 19 ISBN 1857150570
      She had been subjected to contumely and cross-questoning and ill-usage through the whole evening.
    • 1953, James Strachey, translating Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Avon Books, p. 178:
      If this picture of the two psychical agencies and their relation to the consciousness is accepted, there is a complete analogy in political life to the extraordinary affection which I felt in my dream for my friend R., who was treated with such contumely during the dream's interpretation.
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