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

Antonyms

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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 The important yet under-told story in America is that politics does abhor a vacuum, and taxpayers get sucked out of the blue states, to be deposited in more tax-friendly states, like Florida, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee. John Kass, Twin Cities, "John Kass: ‘A Day Without Republicans’: a film for blue state taxpayers," 27 Oct. 2019 The Magisterium abhors the idea of Dust; Dust interferes with the top-down distribution of celestial power. James Parker, The Atlantic, "Can Atheism Inspire Great Fantasy?," 15 Oct. 2019 Many abhor the separation of genders in public schools and universities and are dismayed that Jewish Israelis still can’t have civil marriages—and that the Chief Rabbinate has begun asking for genetic tests before allowing couples to marry. Bernard Avishai, The New Yorker, "The Israeli Election Is Next Week, and Unprecedented Alliances Are Moving Against Netanyahu," 10 Sep. 2019 Corporate textbooks would abhor such an autocratic, impatient style and the same would go for Piech’s love of cash-burning vanity projects. Chris Bryant | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Only a Flawed Genius Builds a Bugatti Veyron," 29 Aug. 2019 Automakers would prefer to avoid a fight over emissions and abhor the prospect of dueling guidelines. Russ Mitchell, chicagotribune.com, "The electric Mustang is just the start of Ford’s drive to hit 50 mpg in 6 years," 3 Dec. 2019 For one thing, the First Amendment—not 230—protects much of what people abhor online, including hate speech and fake news. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Big Tech’s Favorite Legal Shield Is in Danger," 20 Nov. 2019 Solutions might include the recruitment of a new cadre of customs officers, who would be trained to combat smuggling and abhor corruption. Stephen Onyeiwu, Quartz Africa, "Nigeria needs a competent customs service, not border closure," 28 Oct. 2019 Some even used the words the union abhors more than any other: salary cap. Stephanie Apstein, SI.com, "Even Baseball's Best Players Are Hopelessly Overmatched in CBA Negotiations," 10 July 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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Time Traveler for abhor

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for abhor

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abhor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abhor. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abhor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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