de·​test di-ˈtest How to pronounce detest (audio)
detested; detesting; detests

transitive verb

: to feel intense and often violent antipathy toward : loathe
detests politics
They seem to truly detest each other.
obsolete : curse, denounce
detester noun
Choose the Right Synonym for detest

hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe mean to feel strong aversion or intense dislike for.

hate implies an emotional aversion often coupled with enmity or malice.

hated the enemy with a passion

detest suggests violent antipathy.

detests cowards

abhor implies a deep often shuddering repugnance.

a crime abhorred by all

abominate suggests strong detestation and often moral condemnation.

abominates all forms of violence

loathe implies utter disgust and intolerance.

loathed the mere sight of them

Examples of detest in a Sentence

I detest pepperoni, and wouldn't eat it if you paid me!
Recent Examples on the Web The other plan Israel might consider is the reintroduction of the Palestinian Authority, an entity that Palestinians detest for its unaccountable, authoritarian governance by a body viewed as Israel’s quisling. Dahlia Scheindlin, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 Americans on the right and left detest each other, excoriate each other and, with every flaring of rage, move further from any sense of pluralistic common cause. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2023 Crocs—another player in the comfy footwear market loved by some and detested by others—is a clear example of the reticence of investors to reward ever-growing companies. Byprarthana Prakash, Fortune, 12 Oct. 2023 Their soundtracks often featured a cappella renditions of 1940s and ’50s pop standards; Mr. Davies was the rare Liverpool native to detest the music of the city’s most famous cultural export, the Beatles. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 Imagine being mistaken for one of those senators people detest. John Kelly, Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2023 Advertisement For example, Murdoch, whose personal politics are distinctly conservative, always detested Donald Trump. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 21 Sep. 2023 Doug always detested Reggie and only ended up the owner of the sweet pup to spite his ex-girlfriend, who loved the dog but learned to hate the two-timing Doug. Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2023 Ideally, Harris said Washington’s stadium would be one fans and players love and feel welcome in and an environment that opposing players detest. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 21 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'detest.' 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 French detester or Latin detestari; Middle French detester, from Latin detestari, literally, to curse while calling a deity to witness, from de- + testari to call to witness — more at testament

First Known Use

circa 1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of detest was circa 1535

Dictionary Entries Near detest

Cite this Entry

“Detest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​test di-ˈtest How to pronounce detest (audio)
: to dislike very strongly

More from Merriam-Webster on detest

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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