Quick answer
"Despreciar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to despise", and "menospreciar" is a transitive verb which is often translated as "to underestimate". Learn more about the difference between "despreciar" and "menospreciar" below.
despreciar(
dehs
-
preh
-
syahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to disdain)
a. to despise
Parece que me desprecian y no sé por qué.They seem to despise me and I don't know why.
2. (to refuse)
a. to reject
Desprecia la ayuda que le ofrezco.She rejects the help I offer her.
b. to spurn
Despreció el dinero que le ofrecía la mafia.He spurned the money offered to him by the mafia.
despreciarse
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
3. (to disdain oneself)
a. to despise oneself
Se despreciaba por haber dicho cosas tan crueles.He despised himself for having said such cruel things.
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menospreciar(
meh
-
nohs
-
preh
-
syahr
)
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
1. (to look down on)
a. to scorn
La maestra te menospreciará si se entera de que has hecho trampa en el examen.The teacher will scorn you if she finds out that you have cheated on the exam.
b. to despise
Míriam menospreció el collar que el novio de su madre le dio.Miriam despised the necklace that her mother's boyfriend gave her.
2. (to belittle)
a. to underestimate
El personaje más menospreciado del libro acabó siendo el héroe de la trama.The most underestimated character in the book ended up being the hero of the plot.
b. to undervalue
Que no te demos un salario competitivo, no significa que menospreciemos tu trabajo.Although we don't give you a competitive salary, that doesn't mean that we undervalue your contributions.
c. to underrate
Muchos críticos menospreciaron la película que al final ganó un premio Óscar.Many critics underrated the movie that in the end won an Oscar.
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