abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \ əb-ˈhȯr How to pronounce abhor (audio) , ab-\
abhorred; abhorring

Definition of abhor

transitive verb

: to regard with extreme repugnance : to feel hatred or loathing for : loathe abhorred violence

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Other Words from abhor

abhorrer \ -​ˈhȯr-​ər How to pronounce abhorrer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for abhor

Synonyms

abominate, despise, detest, execrate, hate, loathe

Antonyms

love

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Choose the Right Synonym for abhor

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for. hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice. hated the enemy with a passion detest suggests violent antipathy. detests cowards abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance. a crime abhorred by all abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation. abominates all forms of violence loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance. loathed the mere sight of them

The Horror in Abhor

Abhor means “to loathe” or “to hate,” and while loathe and hate have roots in Old English, abhor derives from Latin. The roots of abhor can give us a deeper understanding of both the strength of the dislike expressed by the word and its relationship to other words in English. It came from the Latin word abhorrēre, which meant “to recoil from” or “to be repugnant to,” and was formed by combining ab-, meaning “from” and horrēre, meaning “to bristle,” “to tremble,” or “to shudder.” This word for trembling or shuddering in reaction to something scary or awful is related to the word that names of the cause of those reactions—the Latin word horror, which was later borrowed into English. The -hor of abhor is also the hor- of horror.

Examples of abhor in a Sentence

We believe we know that Americans abhor extremes and mistrust ideology. — David Frum, Atlantic, March 1995 I abhor latter-day, modishly camp take-offs of my cherished boyhood heroes and heroines (Little Orphan Annie, Wonder Woman, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil). — Mordecai Richler, New York Times Book Review, 3 May 1987 He abhorred grandiosity. When he came to New York to revise his manuscripts and galley proofs, he would hole up in a little cubicle on the attic floor of the old 52nd Street mansion that went by the name of Random House. — Norman Cousins, Saturday Review, April 1981 abhors the way people leave their trash at the picnic sites in the park
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Recent Examples on the Web

What about a growing segment of Americans who loathe or abhor the current president, who fear ever-mounting trends as irreversible, who are plotting an exit strategy — heading for Ireland, Spain, England, wherever? Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Jane Fonda heads to Dallas, which bears a connection to a turning point in her Oscar-winning career," 2 July 2019 The internet abhors a vacuum, and thus churns out more #content than anyone could ever acknowledge. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "MTV's 'Most Meme-Able Moment' Honors Internet Culture—Barely," 18 June 2019 The charming monstrosity abhors Bonnie’s love, though, and would rather return to the warm embrace of nonexistence. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Toy Story 4 goes beyond endings, with mixed results: EW review," 13 June 2019 But what galls many people, including Gonzalo, is that Preysler embodies the celebrity entertainment culture that Vargas Llosa long claimed to abhor. Marcela Valdes, New York Times, "The Elder Statesman of Latin American Literature — and a Writer of Our Moment," 20 Feb. 2018 Polls show, however, that most Americans abhor his tendency to quarrel. David Lauter, latimes.com, "On abortion, Joe Biden decides it’s better to switch than fight," 7 June 2019 Players helping players Nature abhors a vacuum and so did EQ players. Andy Patrizio, Ars Technica, "EverQuest’s long, strange 20-year trip still has no end in sight," 6 June 2019 Ahmed, a Muslim, abhors the brutality that ISIS practices in the name of religion. Fox News, "Clinic rescues hearts, and minds, of young Yazidis abused by ISIS," 21 June 2018 Rental owners abhor renters’ sometimes destructive tendencies and business owners love the extra cash. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Protesters rally in Rittenhouse Square, Senior Week puts the 'wild' in Wildwood | Morning Newsletter," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abhor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abhor

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abhor

Middle English abhorren, borrowed from Latin abhorrēre, from ab- ab- + horrēre "to bristle, shiver, shudder" — more at horror entry 1

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Statistics for abhor

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abhor

The first known use of abhor was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for abhor

abhor

verb
ab·​hor | \ ab-ˈhȯr How to pronounce abhor (audio) \
abhorred; abhorring

Kids Definition of abhor

: to dislike very much : loathe He abhorred the idea of eating live worms …— Brian Jacques, Redwall

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More from Merriam-Webster on abhor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abhor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abhor

Spanish Central: Translation of abhor

Nglish: Translation of abhor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abhor for Arabic Speakers

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