(Noun) Insolent reproach or abuse; insulting or offensively contemptuous language or treatment; despite; scornful rudeness; now, especially such contemptuous treatment as tends to inflict dishonor and humiliation.

In Context

“It is good that new ideas should be heard, for the sake of the few that can be used; but it is also good that new ideas should be compelled to go through the mill of objection, opposition, and contumely; this is the trial heat which innovations must survive before being allowed to enter the human race.”

Will and Ariel Durant, The Lessons of History, 1968.