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 Is there a particular kind of abjection that some of us are drawn to, participate in, possibly romanticize, even though nothing about our external lives necessarily suggests it? Marion Winik, Washington Post, "New memoirs by Katie Roiphe and Diane Keaton show the double-edged sword of vulnerability," 21 Feb. 2020 This is an image of middle-aged abjection, equally repulsive as the miner’s mangled leg. Jamie Lauren Keiles, New York Times, "Adam Sandler’s Everlasting Shtick," 27 Nov. 2019 This is a movie that wills itself to end in madness, not to express something true about human abjection or to reflect something resonant in the culture at large, but rather to fit the narrative template of a highly bankable intellectual property. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix puts on quite a show in ‘Joker.’ And the portrait of madness is both bleak and glib," 1 Oct. 2019 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.

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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

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

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Statistics for abjection

Last Updated

6 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abjection.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abjection. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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