look down one's nose at, to(redirected from to look down one's nose at)
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look down (one's) nose at (someone or something)
To regard oneself as superior to others and thus act in a haughty or snobbish manner. The well-dressed businessman looked down his nose at the homeless man sitting on the corner. Once Jane was promoted to management, she looked down her nose at the people who used to be her colleagues.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
look down one's nose at, to
To regard or treat someone with disdain. One writer suggests that this term comes from a customary attitude of disapproval shown by lowering the eyelids and looking downward, thereby focusing on one’s own nose. This explanation does not jibe with the body language involved in turn up one’s nose, yet both expressions involve contempt or disdain, and indeed, to look down on has meant expressing contempt from about 1700; nose was added about 1900. “He went in to look down his nose at them—it might give him some faint satisfaction,” wrote John Galsworthy (To Let, 1921).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer