con·tempt /kən-'tempt/ n
1: willful disobedience or open disrespect of the orders, authority, or dignity of a court or judge acting in a judicial capacity by disruptive language or conduct or by failure to obey the court's orders; also: the offense of contempt – called also contempt of court;
civil contempt: contempt that consists of disobedience to a court order in favor of the opposing party
◇ The sanctions for civil contempt end upon compliance with the order.
constructive contempt: indirect contempt in this entry
criminal contempt: contempt consisting of conduct that disrupts or opposes the proceedings or power of the court
◇ The sanctions for criminal contempt are designed to punish as well as to coerce compliance.
direct contempt: contempt committed in the presence of the court or in a location close enough to disrupt the court's proceedings
in·di·rect contempt: contempt (as disobedience of a court order) that occurs outside of the presence of the court
2: willful disobedience to a lawful order of or willful obstruction of a legislative body in the course of exercising its powers
contempt of Congress
in contempt: in the state of having been found guilty of contempt
refused to testify and were held in contempt — A. M. Dershowitz

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (disdain) noun abhorrence, abomination, animosity, arrogance, aspersion, aversion, condemnation, contemptuousness, contemptus, contumely, debasement, defilement, denigration, denunciation, deprecation, depreciation, derision, derogation, detestation, detraction, disapprobation, disapproval, disdainfulness, disesteem, disfavor, disgust, dislike, disparagement, dispraise, disregard, disrepute, disvaluation, fastidium, imprecation, incivility, indignant aversion, infamy, insolence, malediction, misprision, objurgation, obloquy, odium, opposure, opprobrium, rebuff, reproach, reprobation, reproof, reproval, repugnance, revilement, revulsion, ridicule, scorn, scurrility foreign phrases:
- Qui contemnit praeceptum contemnit praeciplentem. — He who contemns a precept contemns the party who gives it
II (disobedience to the court) noun audacity, contemptuous resistance, contumaciousness, contumacy, contumely, defiance of orders, deprecation, dereliction, disaffection, disobedience, disposition to resist, disregard of orders, disrespect, disrespectfulness, dissension, encroachment, fractiousness, impertinence, improbity, impudence, indiscipline, indocility, infringement, inobservance, insolence, insubmission, insubordination, intractableness, irreverence, nonadherence, noncompliance, noncooperation, nonobservance, obstinacy, obstructionism, perverseness, recalcitrance, recusancy, refractoriness, refusal to obey orders, reproach, repudiation, repulsion, resistance, resistance to authority, restiveness, rudeness, undutifulness, unobservance, unruliness, unsubmissiveness, unwillingness, violation of orders, willful disregard associated concepts: aggravated contempt, civil contempt, common-law contempt, constructive contempt, contempt of court, continuing contempt, criminal contempt, evasive contempt, judicial contempt, obstruction of justice, summary contempt III index contumely, disdain, disgrace, dishonor (shame), disparagement, disregard (lack of respect), disrespect, ignominy, impertinent (insolent), infamy, malice, misprision, obloquy, odium, opprobrium, rejection, reproach, ridicule, shame, spite

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Disregard for authority; willful disobedience or disrespect.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

Category: Criminal Law
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

n. The willful defiance, disregard, or disrespect of judicial or legislative authority or dignity, especially any disobedience of an order or any conduct that disrupts, obstructs, or interferes with the administration or procedures of a court or legislature.
See also contemner.
@ civil contempt
Contempt that consists of the failure to comply with a court order that is issued for another's benefit. The usual penalty is the daily imposition of a fine or imprisonment until the person in contempt agrees to obey the order.
@ consequential contempt
=>> constructive contempt.
=>> contempt.
@ constructive contempt
Contempt that occurs outside of a judge's presence or the immediate vicinity of a courtroom.
=>> contempt.
@ criminal contempt
An act or omission that is in disrespect of the court and obstructs its administration or procedures. For example, a party who shouts insults at a judge during a trial would be committing an act of criminal contempt. The usual penalty is a fixed fine or term of imprisonment.
=>> contempt.
@ direct contempt
Contempt that occurs openly in the presence of a judge or immediate vicinity of a courtroom.
=>> contempt.
@ indirect contempt
=>> constructive contempt
=>> contempt.
@ purge contempt
@ purging contempt
@ purge or purging contempt
purge(ing) contempt. To comply with court order so as to have sentence of contempt lifted.
=>> contempt.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Contempt — Con*tempt (k[o^]n*t[e^]mt ; 215), n. [L. contemptus, fr. contemnere: cf. OF. contempt. See {Contemn}.] 1. The act of contemning or despising; the feeling with which one regards that which is esteemed mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contempt — ► NOUN 1) the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration. 2) (also contempt of court) the offence of being disobedient to or disrespectful of a court of law. ● beneath contempt Cf. ↑beneath contempt ● hold in contempt… …   English terms dictionary

  • contempt — late 14c., from L. contemptus scorn, from pp. of contemnere to scorn, despise, from com , intensive prefix (see COM (Cf. com )), + *temnere to slight, scorn, of uncertain origin. Phrase contempt of court is attested from 19c., though the idea is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • contempt — [n1] disdain, disrespect antipathy, audacity, aversion, condescension, contumely, defiance, derision, despisal, despisement, despite, disesteem, disregard, distaste, hatred, indignity, malice, mockery, neglect, recalcitrance, repugnance, ridicule …   New thesaurus

  • contempt — [kən tempt′] n. [OFr < L contemptus, scorn, pp. of contemnere: see CONTEMN] 1. the feeling or attitude of one who looks down on somebody or something as being low, mean, or unworthy; scorn 2. the condition of being despised or scorned 3. the… …   English World dictionary

  • contempt — despite, disdain, scorn (see under DESPISE vb) Analogous words: abhorrence, detestation, loathing, hatred, hate (see under HATE vb): aversion, *antipathy: repugnance, distaste (see corresponding adjectives at REPUGNANT) Antonyms: respect… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contempt — et mespris de justice, Iurisdictionis contemptus et legum ludibrium, B …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Contempt — Disdain redirects here. For other uses, see Disdain (disambiguation). For the legal term, see Contempt of court. For other uses of Contempt, see Contempt (disambiguation). Contempt is an intensely negative emotion regarding a person or group of… …   Wikipedia

  • contempt — /keuhn tempt /, n. 1. the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. 2. the state of being despised; dishonor; disgrace. 3. Law. a. willful disobedience to or open disrespect for the rules or …   Universalium

  • contempt — noun 1 lack of respect ADJECTIVE ▪ complete, deep, great, open, outright, pure, utter, withering ▪ cold …   Collocations dictionary

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