verb ab·hor \ əb-ˈhȯr , ab- \
|Updated on: 9 Aug 2018

Definition of abhor

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


play \-ˈhȯr-ər\ noun

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Examples of abhor in a Sentence

  1. We believe we know that Americans abhor extremes and mistrust ideology. —David FrumAtlanticMarch 1995
  2. 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 RichlerNew York Times Book Review3 May 1987
  3. 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 CousinsSaturday ReviewApril 1981
  4. abhors the way people leave their trash at the picnic sites in the park

Recent Examples of abhor from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of abhor

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ABHOR Defined for Kids


verb ab·hor \ ab-ˈhȯr \

Definition of abhor for Students

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

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