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    #1

    Condescend

    Dear all

    According to the definition of the word" condescend" below

    1 : to descend to a less formal or dignified level : to waive the privileges of rank

    2: to assume an air of superiority



    It seems to me 1 and 2 is the opposite meaning, #1 means putting down the body to other person while #2 means acting with cocky manner to other person.

    So how come one word has the opposite meanings.

    Thanks

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Condescend

    I don't think that the Merriam-Webster definitions you quote are as helpful as this, which is similar to definitions given in many other dictionaries.

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Condescend

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I don't think that the Merriam-Webster definitions you quote are as helpful as this, which is similar to definitions given in many other dictionaries.
    I think the word has negative connotations.
    I've found this: Online Etymology Dictionary
    And...it says "originally in a positive sense..."
    Is there an example where "condescend" can be used in a positive sense?

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Condescend

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Is there an example where "condescend" can be used in a positive sense?
    How about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    What do you call an arrogant fugitive falling from a building? Condescending.
    charliedeut
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Condescend

    Besides, it makes the crime rate fall
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Condescend

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Is there an example where "condescend" can be used in a positive sense?
    Jane Austen used it in this way, but that was back in 1813.

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