AskDefine | Define condescend

Dictionary Definition



1 behave in a patronizing and condescending manner
2 do something that one considers to be below one's dignity [syn: deign, descend]
3 debase oneself morally, act in an undignified, unworthy, or dishonorable way; "I won't stoop to reading other people's mail" [syn: stoop, lower oneself]
4 treat condescendingly [syn: patronize, patronise]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK) /ˌkɒndɪˈsɛnd/, /%kQndI"sEnd/
  • (US) /ˌkɑːndɪˈsɛnd/, /%kA:ndI"sEnd/


  1. To disregard superiority when engaging with others
    • Can they think me so broken, so debased / With corporal servitude, that my mind ever / Will condescend to such absurd commands? --Milton.
    • Spain's mighty monarch, In gracious clemency, does condescend, / On these conditions, to become your friend. --Dryden.
  2. To assume a tone of superiority when it is unjustified
    • Those who thought they were honoring me by condescending to address a few words to me. --F. W. Robinson.
  3. intransitive obsolete To consent.
    All parties willingly condescended hereunto. --R. Carew.

Usage notes

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

OK, accede to, accept, accord to, agree to, approve, approve of, assent, be willing, bridle, connive at, consent, consent to silently, deal with, deign, descend, endorse, give consent, go along with, grant, have no objection, hold with, lower oneself, nod, nod assent, not refuse, okay, patronize, permit, ratify, sanction, say aye, say yes, stoop, take kindly to, toss the head, treat, vote affirmatively, vote aye, vouchsafe, wink at, yield assent
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