(redirected from contempts)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to contempts: hold in contempt

beneath contempt

Abominable. The atrocities committed by this regime are beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

familiarity breeds contempt

Repeated exposure to someone or something often creates a contentious relationship. A: "Those two teams have built up quite a rivalry over the years." B: "Well, familiarity breeds contempt."
See also: breed, contempt

beneath contempt

exceedingly contemptible. What you have done is beneath contempt. Your rude behavior is beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

Familiarity breeds contempt.

Prov. People do not respect someone they know well enough to know his or her faults. The movie star doesn't let anyone get to know him, because he knows that familiarity breeds contempt.
See also: breed, contempt

in contempt (of court)

showing disrespect for a judge or courtroom procedures. The bailiff ejected the lawyer who was held in contempt. The judge found the juror in contempt of court when she screamed at the attorney.
See also: contempt

familiarity breeds contempt

Long experience of someone or something can make one so aware of the faults as to be scornful. For example, Ten years at the same job and now he hates it-familiarity breeds contempt. The idea is much older, but the first recorded use of this expression was in Chaucer's Tale of Melibee (c. 1386).
See also: breed, contempt

familiarity breeds contempt

If you say that familiarity breeds contempt, you mean that if you know someone or something very well, you can easily become bored with them and stop treating them with respect. Of course, it's often true that familiarity breeds contempt, that we're attracted to those who seem so different from those we know at home. It is second-year drivers — when familiarity breeds contempt for road rules — that are the problem. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of contempt. Familiarity breeds inattention. Typically, family members are so convinced they know what another family member is going to say that they don't bother to listen.
See also: breed, contempt

hold someone or something in contempt

consider someone or something to be unworthy of respect or attention.
In formal legal contexts, holding someone in contempt means that they are judged to have committed the offence of contempt of court, i.e. they are guilty of disrespect or disobedience to the authority of a court in the administration of justice.
See also: contempt, hold, something

beneath conˈtempt

very shameful or disgusting: Stealing the money was bad enough. Trying to get someone else blamed for it was beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

familiarity breeds conˈtempt

(saying) you have little respect, liking, etc. for somebody/something that you know too well: George’s father is regarded by everyone as a great artist, but George doesn’t think he is. Familiarity breeds contempt!
See also: breed, contempt
References in periodicals archive ?
To determine whether the contempt primarily benefits the opposing party or vindicates the authority of the court, one must turn to the sanction imposed.
102) Moreover, as a practical matter, the inquiry into whether the court intended to coerce or punish the contemnor is effectively identical to the inquiry into whether the contempt vindicated the authority of the court or benefited the opposing party, since the benefit to the opposing party is due to the coercion of the contemnor, and vindication of the court's authority is due to the punishment of the contemnor.
Finally, whether a contempt is retrospective or prospective will also be determined by the sanction imposed.
104) If the judge places the father in jail for one week, the judge punishes the father for his past conduct, which vindicates the authority of the court, and the contempt is therefore retrospective.
While the sanction imposed effectively determines whether the contempt is civil or criminal, courts have paid lip service to other "deviant" tests, (105) even if they rarely influence the outcome of a case, except to cause more confusion.
Another test states that civil contempt is appropriate when a contemnor refuses to perform an affirmative action, and criminal contempt is appropriate when a contemnor performs a prohibited action.
118) Conceptually, the willfulness requirement does not serve to distinguish a civil contempt from a criminal contempt, but rather is best understood as an element that the prosecuting party must prove in a criminal contempt case.
Contempt proceedings occupy a unique procedural position because they are often classified as sui generis.
The right to a trial by jury is triggered only in a criminal contempt case where "serious" criminal penalties are imposed.
In a civil contempt proceeding, the contemptuous conduct need not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and there is no right to a jury trial.
Realistically, a trial judge probably will be familiar with the allegations that form the basis for the contempt proceeding and have some idea of the sanctions that are likely to be imposed.
Another criticism of contempt law is that the factors examined by appellate courts inject ambiguity into the distinction between criminal and civil contempt.
The Role of the Judge in Determining Whether a Contempt is Civil or Criminal
Generally an opposing party can prosecute the contempt even if the contempt proceedings are criminal, meaning the government, at least in the form of a prosecuting attorney, is not necessarily involved.
Moreover, as noted in earlier criticisms, the same conduct can lead to civil or criminal contempt proceedings.