de·​test·​able di-ˈte-stə-bəl How to pronounce detestable (audio)
: arousing or meriting intense dislike : abominable
detestableness noun
detestably adverb

Examples of detestable in a Sentence

He is a detestable villain. the detestable actions of a nasty little man
Recent Examples on the Web Anne Souder’s embodiment of the Chorus was helpless to stave off the detestable fate of Xin Ying’s brooding, brutal and human Medea. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 And how a beloved author could have been a detestable human. Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2023 That partially explains the expansion of the detestable chorus from the school itself to its sponsor. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Sep. 2022 Those who find the presence of Fox News on their cable menus detestable should let their cable operators know it. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 17 Apr. 2023 Top-notch casting is the cherry on top, with Lily James as the supremely likable Cinderella, Richard Madden as her down-to-earth prince, Cate Blanchett as the detestable stepmother with her own imperfect backstory, and Helena Bonham Carter as one lovably flighty fairy godmother. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 27 May 2023 Speeches and translations are detestable. Benjamin Moser, The New Yorker, 13 Feb. 2023 What’s better than a detestable character? Riza Cruz, ELLE, 18 Oct. 2022 Though Nate is easily the most detestable teen character on the series, the background actors said Elordi is kind on set (like, bring-your-dogs-to-work-and-let-everyone-meet-them level kind), which made the violent encounter that much harder to watch. Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'detestable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of detestable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near detestable

Cite this Entry

“Detestable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​test·​able di-ˈtes-tə-bəl How to pronounce detestable (audio)
: arousing or deserving strong dislike : abominable

More from Merriam-Webster on detestable

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