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 \ əb-​ˈhȯr-​ər How to pronounce abhorrer (audio) , ab-​ \ 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

Fisher, like Herman and like just about every other modern football coach, claims to abhor (at worst) and tolerate (at best) the attention and the scrutiny that accompany a lofty national ranking these days. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "For Texas and A&M, newfound belief brings newfound pressure," 27 Aug. 2019 Every fiber within my being absolutely abhors pool parties. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Pool parties are soul-crushing spectacles of half-naked strangers posing next to an artificial swamp," 5 Aug. 2019 Many Indonesian planters would abhor this semiwilderness, worrying the understory would compete with oil palm trees for water and nutrients. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 Shooting the skateparks from a single angle would have required a wide-angle fisheye lens, which Zaki abhors. Michael Hardy, WIRED, "You've Never Seen Skateparks Like This Before," 1 July 2019 Once Trump became president, McConnell and McGahn — allies who abhor campaign finance limits and have sought to dismantle Washington’s regulatory framework — formed an early partnership to place ideological soul mates on the bench. Joan Biskupic, Washington Post, "The partisan players transforming the Supreme Court," 21 June 2019 As a result, many of those who defend Moro and Bolsonaro, or who simply abhor Lula and progressive politics, are already trying to discount The Intercept’s reporting as the work of unscrupulous ideologues. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "The Conspiracy to Discredit Brazil’s Left," 10 June 2019 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

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

17 Sep 2019

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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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