Words related to condescend


word-forming element meaning "together, with," sometimes merely intensive; it is the form of com- used in Latin before consonants except -b-, -p-, -l-, -m-, or -r-. In native English formations (such as costar), co- tends to be used where Latin would use con-.


active word-forming element in English and in many verbs inherited from French and Latin, from Latin de "down, down from, from, off; concerning" (see de), also used as a prefix in Latin, usually meaning "down, off, away, from among, down from," but also "down to the bottom, totally" hence "completely" (intensive or completive), which is its sense in many English words.

As a Latin prefix it also had the function of undoing or reversing a verb's action, and hence it came to be used as a pure privative — "not, do the opposite of, undo" — which is its primary function as a living prefix in English, as in defrost (1895), defuse (1943), de-escalate (1964), etc. In some cases, a reduced form of dis-.

scan (v.)

late 14c., scannen, "to mark off verse in metric feet, analyze verse according to its meter," from Late Latin scandere "to scan verse," originally, in classical Latin, "to climb, rise, mount" (the connecting notion is of the rising and falling rhythm of poetry), from PIE *skand- "to spring, leap, climb" (source also of Sanskrit skandati "hastens, leaps, jumps;" Greek skandalon "stumbling block;" Middle Irish sescaind "he sprang, jumped," sceinm "a bound, jump").

English lost the classical -d- probably by confusion with suffix -ed (compare lawn (n.1)). Intransitive meaning "follow or agree with the rules of meter" is by 1857. The sense of "look at point by point, examine minutely (as one does when counting metrical feet in poetry)" is recorded by 1540s. New technology brought the meaning "systematically pass over with a scanner," especially to convert into a sequence of signals (1928). The (opposite) sense of "look over quickly, skim" is attested by 1926. Related: Scanned; scanning.

patronize (v.)

1580s, "to act as a patron towards, favor, assist," from patron + -ize, or from Old French patroniser. Meaning "treat in a condescending way" is attested by 1797; the sense of "give regular business to" is from 1801. Related: Patronized; patronizing; patronization.

condescendence (n.)

1630s, "act of condescending," from French condescendance, from condescendre"to consent, give in, yield," from Latin condescendere  "to let oneself down" (see condescend). Related: Condescendency.

condescending (adj.)

1707, "marked or characterized by condescension, stooping to the level of one's inferiors," present-participle adjective from condescend. In a positive sense (of God, the Savior, etc.) until late 18c. "Now, usually, Making a show, or assuming the air, of condescension; patronizing" [OED]. Related: Condescendingly (1650s).

condescension (n.)

1640s, "the act of condescending, a voluntary inclining to equality with inferiors," from Late Latin condescensionem, noun of action from past-participle stem of condescendere "to let oneself down" (see condescend).

condescent (n.)

mid-15c., "consent;" 1630s, "condescension," from condescend on model of descent/descend.