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The current version of the vocabulary builder covers over 2720 words & is useful for students preparing for academic English examinations such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, etc. Now you can also listen to the pronunciation of words. - Refer a Friend.

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condescend (verb) do something felt to be beneath one's dignity; to deal with others as from a superior level.

When you condescend to talk to a person you feel that you are lowering your level or dignity in talking to them; that your status is higher than theirs. If the director of the company calls at his secretary's, they condescend to visit the secretary, in that the director, who is of a higher status, visits his secretary, of a lower status. Would a king visit his bodyguard? If he did so, he would condescend to visit the bodyguard. When you think you are more intelligent than or superior to the persons you deal with you condescend. Most speakers condescend as they consider that they are more intelligent than their audience. So do most writers, as they think they are more intelligent than their readers are.

  • What I hate about him is that he behaves as though he were of a higher financial or social status than I. Whenever I call on him he condescends to see me after making me wait for at least fifteen minutes.
  • If you want to be a good speaker, do not let your audience feel that you condescend to them. On the contrary, make them feel that you treat them as your equals, if not as your superiors.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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