ab·​jec·​tion ab-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce abjection (audio)
: a low or downcast state : degradation
: the act of making abject : humbling, rejection
I protest … this vile abjection of youth to ageG. 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 Her Roberta is prepared to drown in her own abjection, but Abbott’s Danny keeps throwing himself to her as a lifeline. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 His arc is also, unfortunately — despite some punishingly long sequences in which Safdie channels the character’s abjection — the murkiest. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 What began as a promotional device for a progressive political cause turned into something else: a commodified emblem of Black abjection and white paternalism that would contribute to a growing trend in visual culture. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2022 What mattered more was always the creativity and abjection with which the contestants approached his personal challenge: Prove your loyalty through self-betrayal. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2023 The abjection my mother endured was organized and funded by the city—from the police officers, to the judges, to the reporters who circled our house, hungry to add to their narratives. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 23 Dec. 2022 Conflating agency with activity imposes a kind of autonomy and freedom in the choices made by the enslaved that obfuscates the conditions of subjection and abjection in slavery. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, 17 Oct. 2022 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abjection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near abjection

Cite this Entry

“Abjection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abjection. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!