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 passiondetest suggests violent antipathy.
detests cowardsabhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance.
a crime abhorred by all abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation.
abominates all forms of violenceloathe implies utter disgust and intolerance.
loathed the mere sight of them
Did you know?
Abhor implies strong feelings of repugnance, disgust, and aversion. This degree of distaste is seen in the word's history. In earlier use, abhor sometimes implied an actual shrinking away from something in horror or repugnance. Appropriately, the word's Latin source, the verb abhorrēre, comes from the prefix ab- ("from, away") and the verb horrēre ("to bristle, shiver, or shudder"). As you may have guessed, the Latin horrēre is also the source of the English words horror, horrify, and horrible.
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 1995I 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 1987He 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 1981abhors the way people leave their trash at the picnic sites in the park
Recent Examples on the WebThere are many things to abhor about Mark Zuckerberg and his works, but the fundamental mediocrity of it all is what feels both most egregious and most of this moment.
David Roth, The New Republic, 22 Dec. 2021 Because, while Jason Momoa is clearly having a blast as Duncan in Denis Villeneuve’s new film adaptation, there’s no getting around the fact that — for myself and others — this is a fictional universe that should abhor a name like Duncan Idaho.
Nate Jones, Vulture, 28 Oct. 2021 Most senior leaders don’t abhor that vacuum at all.
David Benjamin And David Komlos, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 It’s the use of a legislative tool to block bills you abhor.
Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, 30 June 2021 Sadly the thing is this: Institutions of all sorts abhor risk and work.
Clem Chambers, Forbes, 7 June 2021 North Side business leaders said the hope and opportunity of economic expansion and more jobs in the lowest-income section of the city are also a response of those who abhor gun violence that disproportionately claims Black victims.
Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune, 6 June 2021 Even those of us who abhor friend-enemy distinctions in politics become little Schmittians when watching sports.
Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 2 June 2021 Every politician and government functionary professes to abhor high inflation.
William Baldwin, Forbes, 12 May 2021
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.