Quick answer
"Desdén" is a noun which is often translated as "disdain", and "desprecio" is a noun which is often translated as "contempt". Learn more about the difference between "desdén" and "desprecio" below.
desdén(
dehs
-
dehn
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (general)
a. disdain
El desdén del médico por sus pacientes más pobres era evidente.The doctor's disdain for his poorer patients was obvious.
b. contempt
Marco es misógino y me trata con desdén ya que soy mujer.Marco is a mysogynist and treats me with contempt because I'm a woman.
c. scorn
El presidente no intentó ocultar su desdén por el pueblo.The president did not attempt to hide his scorn for the people.
d.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Me horrorizó el desdén con que mi abuela trataba al camarero.I was shocked by the disdainful way my grandmother treated the waiter.
Mateo me miró con desdén, como si hubiera soltado una palabrota.Mateo looked at me disdainfully, as if I'd uttered a rude word.
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desprecio(
dehs
-
preh
-
syoh
)
A masculine noun is used with masculine articles and adjectives (e.g. el hombre guapo, el sol amarillo).
1. (derision)
a. contempt
Expresa desprecio para los que no comparten sus creencias.He expresses contempt for those who don't share his beliefs.
b. disdain
My last boss treated any questions with disdain.Mi último jefe trataba cualquier pregunta con desprecio.
c. scorn
Te prometo que no te vuelvo a mirar con desprecio.I promise I will never look at you with scorn again.
2. (affront)
a. snub
Le mostró desprecio al darles a todos un abrazo, menos a ella.He snubbed her by giving everyone a hug except her.
b. slight
¿Crees que su comentario fue un desprecio o solo ejemplo de su falta de tacto?Do you think his comment was a slight or just an example of his tactlessness?
3. (indifference)
a. disregard
El rey mostraba un desprecio total por la gente pobre.The king displayed an utter disregard for poor people.
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