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Middle English, from Anglo-French condescendre, from Late Latin condescendere, from Latin com- + descendere to descend

in medieval Latin to be complaisant or compliant, to accede to any one's opinion, etc.; in French also to come down from one's rights or claims, to yield consent, acquiesce.


  • 1: To come down voluntarily.
  • 2: To come or bend down, so far as a particular action is concerned, from one's position of dignity or pride; to stoop voluntarily and graciously; to deign.
  • 3: To depart from the privileges of superiority by a voluntary submission; to sink willingly to equal terms with inferiours’ (Johnson); to be condescending in one's relations with others.
  • 4: To yield or deferentially give way; to show oneself deferential, compliant, or complaisant; to accommodate oneself to.
  • 5: To give one's consent, to accede or agree to (a proposal, request, measure, etc.); to acquiesce.


Condescension is a show of disdain and superiority in which the condescending person patronizes, or considers him/herself superior and "descends" to the level of, the disdained person.

Condescension can also refer to:

  • Condescension, another name for accommodation, a theological principle in Christianity
  • "Condescension" (song), a 2000 song by British metal band Pitchshifter