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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Sculpting from models or imagination, his hand ate away flesh to register how, instead of in what form, people existed for him, whether in pride or abjection, in loneliness or resilience—perhaps ridiculous, perhaps frightening. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "Giacometti’s Skinny Sublimity," 6 June 2018 Baywatch could have done with more such goofy meta-moments, treating the human body as a site of pleasure and fun rather than abjection and derision. Dana Stevens, Slate Magazine, "Baywatch," 25 May 2017 After 2016’s humiliation and devastation, the left is searching for candidates both nationally and locally who can deliver the country from its current abjection. Katy Waldman, Slate Magazine, "Can a Kentuckian fighter pilot and a mustachioed ironworker obliterate Democrats’ effete reputation?," 8 Aug. 2017 Chiron and Paula certainly suffer (and inflict suffering on each other), but they are liberated from the standard indie-film arc of abjection and redemption. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "‘Moonlight’: Is This the Year’s Best Movie?," 20 Oct. 2016

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abjection

Dictionary Entries near abjection








Statistics for abjection

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abjection

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

See more words from the same century

More from Merriam-Webster on abjection

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abjection

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abjection

Comments on abjection

What made you want to look up abjection? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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