de·spic·a·ble (dĭ-spĭkə-bəl, dĕspĭ-kə-bəl)
Deserving of contempt or scorn; vile.
[Late Latin dēspicābilis, from Latin dēspicārī, to despise; see spek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The original standard pronunciation of despicable had stress on the first syllable. During the 1900s, the placement of stress gradually shifted to the second syllable, and now that pronunciation is the usual one.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.