ab·​jec·​tion | \ ab-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce abjection (audio) \

Definition of abjection

1 : a low or downcast state : degradation
2 : the act of making abject : humbling, rejection I protest … this vile abjection of youth to age— G. B. Shaw

Examples of abjection in a Sentence

sees the corporate scandal as yet another sign of the general abjection of our society
Recent Examples on the Web Thanks to the cult of plain honesty, abjection, and sincere appearance, however, they were not portrayed as doing so persuasively, powerfully, beautifully. Jarrett Earnest, The New York Review of Books, 8 June 2022 The films lean into ambiguity and uncertainty, resisting a binary vision of pure abjection or simple victory. New York Times, 19 July 2021 Both authors are irreverent and unorthodox, both are drawn to abjection, and both engage in an extended reckoning with their own mothers. Eula Biss, The New Yorker, 22 Apr. 2021 Even the gross-out images are not actually interested in the abjection of popular culture or American society, in the manner of Mike Kelley or Paul McCarthy. Jason Farago, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2021 These books — so vaunted for their bravery, their abjection — are also, indisputably, an account of getting one’s own way. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2021 The end point isn’t self-realization, but abjection, the would-be interpreter gibbering before the staggering number of connections. Hari Kunzru, Harpers Magazine, 5 Jan. 2021 The character careened between triumph and slapstick abjection as the puppeteers moved him across a long table with artificial turf. Siddhartha Mitter, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2020 What is harder to parse is how precisely the pain and abjection that Carey describes in such detail yielded her confidence, determination, and skill. Emily Lordi, The New Yorker, 2 Oct. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of abjection

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abjection

Middle English abjectioun "humbleness, abject state, outcasts," borrowed from Anglo-French or Late Latin; Anglo-French abjeccioun "rejection, outcasts," borrowed from Late Latin abjectiōn-, abjectiō "casting away, rejection, humbled condition, humbleness," going back to Latin, "dejection," from abicere "to throw down" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at abject

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

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Last Updated

13 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abjection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abjection. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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