de·​test | \di-ˈtest, dē-\

Definition of detest 

transitive verb

1 : to feel intense and often violent antipathy toward : loathe detests politics They seem to truly detest each other.

2 obsolete : curse, denounce

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Other Words from detest

detester noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for detest


abhor, abominate, despise, execrate, hate, loathe



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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

On Hater, a dating app that matches its 100,000 users by their mutual dislikes, Hawaiian pizza was the most widely detested food of 2017, beating out spray cheese and overstuffed burritos. Kelsey Gee, WSJ, "A Divided Nation Reveals Itself In One Question: Hawaiian Pizza, Yes or No?," 17 Apr. 2018 In the late 1990s, President Bill Clinton came to detest then-director Louis Freeh, but their distrust did not lead to withering public attacks from the president himself. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside the FBI: Anger, worry, work – and fears of lasting damage," 3 Feb. 2018 But it also was done quietly, so as not to annoy the Chinese government, which detests publicity about human rights cases. New York Times, "How Germany Won Freedom for the Widow of China’s Most Famous Dissident," 11 July 2018 Now, 100 years later, the European Union is taking the first steps toward getting rid of the time change beloved by some and detested by others, reports Shoshana Wodinsky at the Verge. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "The EU Mulls Ditching Daylight Saving Time," 9 July 2018 And for a woman who detests groupthink, Owens revels in the power of a horde. NBC News, "YouTube tested, Trump approved: How Candace Owens suddenly became the loudest voice on the far right," 23 June 2018 Many Nicaraguans loved him at some points in his career and detested him at others. Stephen Kinzer,, "Miguel Obando y Bravo, 92, key figure in Nicaraguan turmoil," 4 June 2018 The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, widely known as MEK, is an exiled Iranian opposition group detested by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Sylvain Plazy, The Seattle Times, "Belgium charges couple with plotting attack on French rally," 2 July 2018 One of the saxophonist Kirk Whalum’s earliest memories is of hearing beautiful music in the black Baptist church where his father pastored, and detesting it. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Definition of Soul Music: Empathy?," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'detest.' 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 detest

circa 1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for detest

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

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Statistics for detest

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for detest

The first known use of detest was circa 1535

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More Definitions for detest



English Language Learners Definition of detest

: to dislike (someone or something) very strongly


de·​test | \di-ˈtest \
detested; detesting

Kids Definition of detest

: to dislike very much

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Comments on detest

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playful or foolish behavior

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