Is there such a word as condescending?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

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Asked by: Joanne Schulist
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Condescending is most commonly used as an adjective, but it's also the continuous tense (-ing form) of the verb condescend, which most commonly means to act in this way. The act of doing so is called condescension.

What does it mean if someone is condescending?

Condescending behavior is having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority; showing that you consider yourself better or more intelligent. It is usually intended to make people feel bad about not knowing or having something and it often works.

Is condescending negative?

When used this way, condescend, condescension, and the adjective condescending are always negative and imply that such behavior is insulting to the person or people it's directed toward. Condescend can also mean to stoop to a lower level or to do something that one considers as below one's dignity.

Is condescending an insult?

Condescension is an insulting way of talking to other people, as if they were stupid or ignorant. Condescension is rude and patronizing. Treating someone with condescension is the opposite of treating them with respect.

Can you use condescend as a verb?

The verb condescend used to be free of any hint of the offensive superiority it usually suggests today. It could mean literally "to go or come down" or, figuratively, "to willingly lower oneself to another's level," senses that are still occasionally encountered in writings on the Bible.

Condescending Example

29 related questions found

How can you tell if someone is condescending?

10 Behaviors People Find Condescending
  1. Explaining things that people already know. ...
  2. Telling someone they “always” or “never” do something. ...
  3. Interrupting to correct people's pronunciation. ...
  4. Saying “Take it easy” ...
  5. Saying you “actually” like an idea. ...
  6. Doling out compliment sandwiches. ...
  7. Demeaning nicknames like “Chief” or “Honey”

What's the difference between Patronising and condescending?

Someone who is condescending “talks down” to others because he or she feels superior to them. To patronise someone is to treat them condescendingly, but in a particular way – as though dealing with a child.

What do you say to someone who is condescending?

In communicating with a condescending person, try not to lose your temper, since this can make the situation worse. Before replying to the person, pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Tell yourself something like “I'm trying to point out a problem, but I'm going to stay calm and be civil.” Be honest.

What is the opposite to condescending?

Opposite of assuming a tone of superiority, or a patronizing attitude. approachable. deferential. friendly. humble.

What is the word for making someone feel inferior?

belittle Add to list Share. To belittle means to put down, or to make another person feel as though they aren't important. Saying mean things about another person literally makes them feel "little." To belittle someone is a cruel way of making someone else seem less important than yourself.

Is patronizing a negative word?

V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary

The related verb patronize can either be positive or negative. In the positive sense to patronize means to be a patron or a customer to a business. In the negative sense, patronize means to talk down to someone. Patronize is synonymous with condescend.

What is a condescending tone of voice?

The definition of condescending is acting in a way that shows a superior attitude. ... Assuming a tone of superiority, or a patronizing attitude. Quit talking to me in that condescending tone! You always treat me like a child – ugh!

What does a condescending tone mean?

disapproving : showing that you believe you are more intelligent or better than other people She spoke to us in a condescending [=patronizing] tone. His comments were offensive and condescending to us. a condescending attitude.

Why do I come across as condescending?

Condescension usually comes from a place of insecurity and fear of rejection. However, by knowing your self-worth, you can feel more secure about yourself. When you feel more secure, you are less likely to put others down. Sit down and make a list of your strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, and failures.

Why is my partner condescending?

When one partner condescends frequently to the other, this can be a form of gaslighting. The condescending partner is trying, either consciously, or, more commonly, subconsciously, to show the other partner that s/he is wrong, crazy, silly, or unintelligent.

How do you react when someone talks down to you?

15 Responses When Someone Talks Down to You
  1. Don't take it personally (even when it's meant to be personal). ...
  2. Expect it and ignore it. ...
  3. Be upfront and call them out. ...
  4. Invoke their empathy. ...
  5. Acknowledge where they're right and add something to it. ...
  6. Excuse yourself. ...
  7. Walk away and find someone who talks to you with respect.

What does it mean if something is pretentious?

1 : characterized by pretension: such as. a : making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him— Richard Watts.

What is Petronize?

1 : to act as patron of : provide aid or support for The government patronized several local artists. 2 : to adopt an air of condescension toward : treat haughtily or coolly. 3 : to be a frequent or regular customer or client of a restaurant much patronized by celebrities.

What are patronizing comments?

Patronizing is the act of appearing kind or helpful but internally feeling superior to others. This happens in multiple forms including interrupting people, making belittling comments and trying to minimize them by being condescending.

What are condescending phrases?

6 patronizing phrases you say at work without realizing it
  • “You can do better than that.” ...
  • “Right… Now back to the matter at hand.” ...
  • “I actually like that idea.” ...
  • “Everyone knows that…” ...
  • “Good luck with that!” ...
  • “You're missing my point.”

How do you professionally tell someone they are condescending?

Be professional. Use “I” language (“I feel devalued as a person when you speak to me in a condescending tone”) instead of “You” language (“You are so condescending in the way you talk to me”).

Are pretentious and condescending the same?

As adjectives the difference between pretentious and condescending. is that pretentious is marked by an unwarranted claim to importance or distinction while condescending is assuming a tone of superiority, or a patronizing attitude.

Is condescending and arrogant the same thing?

As adjectives the difference between condescending and arrogant. is that condescending is assuming a tone of superiority, or a patronizing attitude while arrogant is having excessive pride in oneself, often with contempt for others.

What is condescending patronizing?

"Condescending" and "patronizing" are synonyms and therefore can typically be used interchangeably. Condescending - "having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority." Patronizing - "apparently kind or helpful but betraying a feeling of superiority; condescending."