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

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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 These books — so vaunted for their bravery, their abjection — are also, indisputably, an account of getting one’s own way. New York Times, "‘The Copenhagen Trilogy,’ a Sublime Set of Memoirs About Growing Up, Writing and Addiction," 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, "Complexity," 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, "Derek Fordjour, From Anguish to Transcendence," 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, "The Elusive Mariah Carey’s New Memoir," 2 Oct. 2020 The transition from darkness to dazzling light, a shock designed to induce a physical crisis, to reduce the subject to a state of abjection, nothing but a half-blind animal, stunned and panicking. Hari Kunzru, The New Yorker, "A Transparent Woman," 29 June 2020 Balsam is marvelous throughout, precisely measured in portraying a state often teetering on abjection. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "‘South Mountain’ Review: She’s Having Your Baby? Let’s Talk It Out," 7 May 2020 The premise gets stretched thinner still when, from under the stained pants and tattered tank tops that present Survivor as a sober study of communal abjection, mic packs peek out. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Paranoid Style in American Entertainment," 14 May 2020 Other painters found the basic form of Millet’s workers compelling, but balked at their misery and abjection. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "It’s easy to see Millet’s influence on other painters. It’s harder to see his genius.," 27 Feb. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for abjection

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for abjection

Last Updated

1 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abjection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abjection. Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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