noun, often attributive
\ ˈhāt How to pronounce hate (audio) \

Definition of hate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
b : extreme dislike or disgust : antipathy, loathing had a great hate of hard work
c : a systematic and especially politically exploited expression of hatred a crime motivated by bigotry and hate often used before another nounhate mailan organization tracking hate groups — see also hate crime
2 : an object of hatred a generation whose finest hate had been big business— F. L. Paxson


hated; hating

Definition of hate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to feel extreme enmity toward : to regard with active hostility hates his country's enemies
2 : to have a strong aversion to : find very distasteful hated to have to meet strangers hate hypocrisy

intransitive verb

: to express or feel extreme enmity or active hostility harsh faces and hating eyes— Katherine A. Porter
hate one's guts
: to hate someone with great intensity

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Synonyms & Antonyms for hate

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for hate


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 hate in a Sentence

Noun These crimes are motivated by prejudice and hate. They have been unable to overcome their hates and fears. Verb He was a cruel tyrant who was hated and feared by his people. She hated them for betraying her. They were political rivals who truly hated each other. What is it that you hate about him most? children whose families have taught them to hate They hate being apart from each other. I hate the idea of leaving my mother alone all week.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After the wild success of its Michael Jordan docuseries, ESPN is following up with a nine-parter on Tom Brady that everyone in America will either love or hate and absolutely no one will be neutral about. Allison Morrow, CNN, "Why your Memorial Day burgers are so expensive, and four other business stories you need to read today," 22 May 2020 But the opera’s subject made fund-raising difficult, despite its depiction of Malcolm X’s trajectory from hate toward love. Ryan Ebright, The New Yorker, "Anthony Davis’s Revolutionary Opera: “X”," 22 May 2020 Some turn their fear and frustration about the coronavirus that first emerged in China into hate toward Asians and Asian Americans. Jeff Greenberg, The Conversation, "Coronavirus reminds you of death – and amplifies your core values, both bad and good," 21 May 2020 Here's the bottom line: Some people might think that sharing content from a white supremacist hate site at least nine times displays the type of judgment needed to be a Democrat in Congress. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Attack ad gives ex-spy Valerie Plame swastika eyes and calls her a 'disgraced, racist millionaire'," 20 May 2020 The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council — a coalition of 40 nonprofit groups that provide health, job counseling and other social services — started an online reporting center tracking hate reports. Richard Read, Los Angeles Times, "Latest far-right tactic: Naming names, threatening people who report coronavirus lockdown violations," 10 May 2020 Whoever made this tape had to have known about the kids' extreme hate for Mr. Honey, or even Jug's gruesome short story depicting his murder. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "8 Questions That Need to Be Addressed In "Riverdale" Season Five," 7 May 2020 The world’s newest disease has unleashed another wave of the world’s oldest hate. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Amid the Pandemic, Anti-Semitism Flares Up," 15 Apr. 2020 Representatives from each company spoke with us about navigating the tension between free expression and fomenting hate. ProPublica, "The Hate Store: Amazon’s Self-Publishing Arm Is a Haven for White Supremacists," 8 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Did people hate the real candidate for being a woman or for being a Clinton? Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Yorker, "Curtis Sittenfeld’s “Rodham” Offers the Catharsis of Uncomplicated Regret," 17 May 2020 Because of its strong flavor profile, most people love it or hate it. Al Culliton, Bon Appétit, "How to Find Your Amaro Soulmate (It's Out There!)," 23 Apr. 2020 Love them or hate them, scooters have hit their maximum in San Francisco. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Abandoned, peed on by dogs: As SF scooters ramp up, complaints are rare but colorful," 16 Feb. 2020 In the world’s first social media pandemic, hate speech related to the virus is spreading online almost as fast as the virus itself. Billy Perrigo, Time, "It Was Already Dangerous to Be Muslim in India. Then Came the Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 But there is no satisfactory compromise to make when a presidential candidate, and then a president, makes statements that violate policies regarding hate speech and false information. Steven Levy, Wired, "Twitter and Facebook Must Not Allow Trump's Covid-19 Lies," 13 Mar. 2020 In Oregon, second-degree intimidation includes hate speech. NBC News, "Portland man accused of killing 2 during hate-killed rant guilty of 1st-degree murder," 22 Feb. 2020 Facebook has defended its policy on political ads and says hate speech is banned from its platform, as is anyone who advocates for violence. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "Elon Musk's verdict on Facebook: It's 'lame' and you should delete it," 10 Feb. 2020 Sites such as the partially departed 8chan specialize in being hate speech free-for-alls, but theoretically family-friendly Facebook is far from immune. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "What it takes to get a hate page off Facebook: A letter from the state AG," 6 Feb. 2020

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


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for hate


Middle English, probably derivative of haten "to hate entry 2," replacing hete "hate, hatred," going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *hatiz- (whence, also inflected as an i-stem as in Old English, Old Saxon heti "hatred," and, inflected as a neuter strong noun, Old Norse hatr "hatred, spite" and Gothic hatis "anger, enmity"), perhaps going back to Indo-European *ḱh2d-es-, derivative of a base *ḱeh2d- "grief, pain, hatred," whence, with different ablaut grades and suffixation, Oscan cadeis (genitive singular) "ill will," Middle Irish cais "love, hatred," Old Welsh cás "bitterness, hatred" (Celtic from a derivative *ḱh2d-ti-), Greek kêdos (neuter) "care, grief, (in plural) funeral rites, mourning, connection by marriage," Avestan sādra- "grief, pain, calamity"

Note: Though this Indo-European etymon is generally accepted in etymological dictionaries of the relevant older languages, the semantic relations are far from transparent, in particular the relation between "grief, mourning, care" (Greek, Iranian) and "hatred" (Germanic, Italic, and Celtic, though the ambiguity of the Irish word is peculiar).


Middle English haten, going back to Old English hatian, going back to Germanic *hatōjan- (whence Old Saxon haton "to hate," Old High German hazzōn, Old Norse hata,), derivative from the base of *hatiz- hate entry 1

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Time Traveler for hate

Time Traveler

The first known use of hate was before the 12th century

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Statistics for hate

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hate. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for hate


How to pronounce hate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very strong feeling of dislike



English Language Learners Definition of hate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to dislike (someone) very strongly : to feel hate for (someone)
: to dislike (something) very strongly : to find (something) very unpleasant
used to apologize for doing something or to express regret or guilt often followed by to + verb


\ ˈhāt How to pronounce hate (audio) \

Kids Definition of hate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: deep and bitter dislike


hated; hating

Kids Definition of hate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to feel great dislike toward
hate someone's guts
: to hate someone very much

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More from Merriam-Webster on hate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hate

Spanish Central: Translation of hate

Nglish: Translation of hate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hate for Arabic Speakers

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