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

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

The biggest challenge was simply that the family absolutely detested neoclassical design. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins," 7 June 2019 Beijing detests the Dalai Lama, saying the Tibetan spiritual leader is trying to break Tibet away from Chinese control. Washington Post, "Report: Indian officials told to avoid Tibetan exile events," 2 Mar. 2018 Perhaps above all John detested the abuse of power, could not abide bigots and swaggering. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of George W. Bush's Eulogy for John McCain," 1 Sep. 2018 And like a true left wing extremist, well, comrade de Blasio detests diversity of thought. Fox News, "Giuliani: Mueller's investigation is obviously illegitimate," 9 Aug. 2018 At the start of the year the political focus was on the beneficial effects for investors of Mr. Trump’s corporate-tax cuts, but his trade policies are detested by markets. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Halfway Through a Troubling Year," 2 July 2018 Perhaps above all, John detested the abuse of power. Caroline Houck, Vox, "George W. Bush honors McCain as “unwavering, undimmed, unequal”," 1 Sep. 2018 The council downplayed the impact of the safety net programs — long detested by Republicans — on the country’s economic health. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Social Security, food stamps, and other programs kept 44 million people out of poverty last year," 12 Sep. 2018 But despite overwhelming support from the GOP here, Trump is still widely detested in California, where independents are on the verge of overtaking Republicans in voter registration. Alexei Koseff, sacbee, "Five things to watch at the California Republican Party convention this weekend | The Sacramento Bee," 4 May 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

22 Jun 2019

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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

formal : to dislike (someone or something) very strongly


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

Kids Definition of detest

: to dislike very much

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More from Merriam-Webster on detest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with detest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for detest

Spanish Central: Translation of detest

Nglish: Translation of detest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of detest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on detest

What made you want to look up detest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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