ex·​e·​cra·​ble ˈek-si-krə-bəl How to pronounce execrable (audio)
: deserving to be execrated : detestable
execrable crimes
: very bad : wretched
execrable hotel food
execrableness noun
execrably adverb

Did you know?

He or she who is cursed faces execrable conditions. Keep this in mind to remember that execrable is a descendant of the Latin verb exsecrari, meaning "to put under a curse." Since its earliest uses in English, beginning in the 14th century, execrable has meant "deserving or fit to be execrated," the reference being to things so abominable as to be worthy of formal denouncement (such as "execrable crimes"). But in the 19th century we lightened it up a bit, and our "indescribably bad" sense has since been applied to everything from roads ("execrable London pavement" - Sir Walter Scott) to food ("The coffee in the station house was ... execrable." - Clarence Day) to, inevitably, the weather ("the execrable weather of the past fortnight" - The (London) Evening Standard).

Examples of execrable in a Sentence

Living conditions in the slums were execrable. her execrable singing finally brought a complaint from the neighbors
Recent Examples on the Web My grandfather purchased it—along with a sweet fake Renoir and an execrable Modigliani—while living in Buenos Aires in the early Sixties. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Mar. 2022 Get this execrable liar out of Congress. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 16 May 2022 Here are a handful of quick Thesaurus pulls to help paint a picture of how the unit played: unpropitious, cataclysmic, demoralizing, execrable. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 9 Jan. 2023 For some reason The New York Times has given the execrable Lee Siegel space to write on its website. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Jan. 2012 Maybe there is a hypothetical contingency for which F-35 isn’t fully ready in its baseline configuration, but after watching the execrable performance of Russian military forces in Ukraine for two months, this concern does not seem urgent. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Why hire this partisan, the White House acting chief of staff for a time, who had such an execrable record of enabling his boss’s corruption and reinforcing his lies? Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2022 Handing her an Oscar for the stunningly mediocre Eyes of Tammy Faye would be like giving Glenn Close her long-overdue Oscar for playing Ma Kettle, sorry, Mamaw, in the execrable Hillbilly Elegy. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Mar. 2022 The first is the execrable former chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schröder. Elliott Abrams, National Review, 15 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'execrable.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of execrable was in the 14th century


Dictionary Entries Near execrable

Cite this Entry

“Execrable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/execrable. Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ex·​e·​cra·​ble ˈek-si-krə-bəl How to pronounce execrable (audio)
: very bad
living conditions in the slums were execrable
execrableness noun
execrably adverb
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