Is there is a word that describes vehement disdain for people who are perceived to have a lower social status than one's self? I'm looking for a word that is to class-ism as bigotry is to racism.

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    It's called elitism. – Robusto Jul 16 '12 at 12:32
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    @Robusto: I don't think elitism' is quite nearly as strong as 'racism', the same 'vehement disdain'. – Mitch Jul 16 '12 at 12:52
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    But how about a disdain for people who are perceived to have a higher class than oneself? Class-hate can go both ways, and a hatred of upper classes is certainly not alien among radical communists or so. Or a hatred of the own class... – gerrit Jul 16 '12 at 14:09
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    Bigotry, although most often used of religious or racial intolerance or prejudice, can also be used of vehement classism. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Jul 16 '12 at 16:26
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    What @jwpat7 is true...bigotry is not specific to racism. – JeffSahol Jul 16 '12 at 17:45

I suppose the word that comes closest is snobbery.


Haughtiness might work.

Haughty (the adjective form) means "having or showing arrogant superiority to and disdain of those one views as unworthy."

  • Haughtiness is to class as bigotry is to racism? I don't think so. – Robusto Jul 16 '12 at 16:24

Bigotry is to classism as bigotry is to racism.

That is because bigotry is not a racism-specific word. It originally criticized sanctimonious religious beliefs¹, and subsequently acquired a broader meaning.

Bigotry now refers to “the practice of having very strong and unreasonable opinions, especially about politics, race, or religion, and refusing to consider other people's opinions”.²


I would suggest imperiousness.

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