abom·​i·​na·​ble ə-ˈbäm-nə-bəl How to pronounce abominable (audio)
formal : worthy of or causing disgust or hatred : detestable
the abominable treatment of the poor
an abominable crime
: very bad or unpleasant
abominable weather
ə-ˈbäm-nə-blē How to pronounce abominable (audio)
being treated abominably
abominably bad weather

Did you know?

The tendency to hate evil omens is a vital part of the history of abominable. The word descends from the Latin verb abominari, which means "to deprecate as an ill omen" or "to detest"; abominari itself comes from ab- plus omin- ("from an omen"). When English speakers adopted abominable in the 14th century, they used it to express their disgust over evil or truly detestable things—and for 500 years that's the way things stood. In the 17th century, the word's meaning moderated, so that Scottish novelist William Black could write in A Princess of Thule (1873), "Sheila had nothing to do with the introduction of this abominable decoration." Other descendants of abominari are abominate ("to hate or loathe intensely") and abomination ("something odious or detestable").

Examples of abominable in a Sentence

It was an abominable crime. your table manners are abominable!
Recent Examples on the Web Hamas is an abominable terrorist organization, worse than ISIS, that brutally and intentionally murders babies, children, women and the elderly, takes civilians hostage and uses its own people as human shields. Compiled By Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 26 Oct. 2023 For a real treat, don't miss Rudolph's Holly Jolly Christmas Light Parade, during which Rudolph and his friends, including Bumble (the formerly abominable snow monster), make an appearance. Travel + Leisure Editors, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2023 Building slowly to the atom-bomb spectacle, blending the Trinity test site at Los Alamos with the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Nolan recapitulates the abominable terrorist stunts of his Batman movies. Armond White, National Review, 21 July 2023 Diversity hires America Ferrera and Issa Rae give abominable speeches about Latino and black feminist sacrifice, and Rhea Perlman appears morphing Barbie inventor Ruth Handler into Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Armond White, National Review, 19 July 2023 The fact that these horrific shootings continue to take place is abominable. CBS News, 3 July 2023 Its perverse protagonist, Lester Ballard, reveled in the kind of abominable behavior that more genteel writers like William Faulkner danced around. Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2023 That abominable notion floated to the surface after last season’s extraordinary Buffalo circumstances, when the Bills and Bengals lost a game on their schedule because of Damar Hamlin’s life-threatening on-field cardiac arrest. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 24 May 2023 Group members have written letters to the editor and social media posts questioning whether the monument was built to intimidate African Americans and asserting that, while slavery was abominable, the South fought the North for other reasons, as well. Washington Post, 20 Jan. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abominable.' 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 abhomynable, abomynable, borrowed from Anglo-French abhominable, abominable, borrowed from Late Latin abōminābilis, abhominābilis (spelling influenced by Latin ab homine "from the man"), from abōminārī "to detest, abominate" + -ābilis -able

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of abominable was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near abominable

Cite this Entry

“Abominable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abominable. Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


abom·​i·​na·​ble ə-ˈbäm-(ə-)nə-bəl How to pronounce abominable (audio)
: deserving or causing disgust : hateful, detestable
abominable behavior
: quite disagreeable
abominable weather
abominably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on abominable

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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