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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from detest

detester noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for detest


abhor, abominate, despise, execrate, hate, loathe



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 last before him was 1.5-termer Richard Nixon, who detested the press, had many enemies, real and imagined, and was soon to be impeached and resign. Timothy J. Burger, Town & Country, "What's the Point of the White House Correspondents' Dinner if the President Doesn't Show Up?," 31 Mar. 2017 Becker detests the raise and each month gives money to mostly conservative causes. Laura Hancock,, "Massive ad buy underway to thwart HB 6 referendum: Capitol Letter," 27 Aug. 2019 Wealthy Hondurans who detested him read signals from Washington. Stephen Kinzer,, "Who’s responsible for the border crisis? The United States," 20 June 2019 Leave voters may like him, but Remainers detest him. The Economist, "The Boris bubble that threatens Britain’s Conservatives," 20 June 2019 Game of Thrones—which many viewers have been in a decade-long relationship with—is no exception, even if the universe roundly detested its final season. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Who needs “Game of Thrones”? All the shows you can watch to fill the void," 24 July 2019 The Lakers may never have been a viable destination, given the kind of front-office dysfunction and volatility that Leonard detests. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Kawhi to the Clippers is crazy and unexpected, and makes perfect sense," 6 July 2019 Many detested urban renewal, calling it urban destruction. Tom Condon,, "As Connecticut cities revive, what did we learn from the mistakes of urban renewal?," 26 June 2019 Like many Wisconsinites, La Susa detested the cold and constant snow. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eileen La Susa, the wife of Wauwatosa Alderman Ernst-Ulrich Franzen and a former media professional, has died," 16 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about detest

Statistics for detest

Last Updated

12 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for detest

The first known use of detest was circa 1535

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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