ob·​lo·​quy | \ ˈä-blə-kwē How to pronounce obloquy (audio) \
plural obloquies

Definition of obloquy

1 : a strongly condemnatory utterance : abusive language held to their convictions in the face of obloquy
2 : the condition of one that is discredited : bad repute living out his days in the obloquy of one who had betrayed a solemn trust

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for obloquy

abuse, vituperation, invective, obloquy, billingsgate mean vehemently expressed condemnation or disapproval. abuse, the most general term, usually implies the anger of the speaker and stresses the harshness of the language. scathing verbal abuse vituperation implies fluent and sustained abuse. a torrent of vituperation invective implies a comparable vehemence but suggests greater verbal and rhetorical skill and may apply to a public denunciation. blistering political invective obloquy suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace. subjected to obloquy and derision billingsgate implies practiced fluency and variety of profane or obscene abuse. directed a stream of billingsgate at the cabdriver

Did You Know?

English speakers can choose from several synonyms to name a tongue-lashing. Abuse is a good general term that usually stresses the anger of the speaker and the harshness of the language, as in "scathing verbal abuse." Vituperation often specifies fluent, sustained abuse; "a torrent of vituperation" is a typical use of this term. Invective implies vehemence comparable to vituperation, but may suggest greater verbal and rhetorical skill; it may also apply especially to a public denunciation, as in "blistering political invective." Obloquy, which comes from the Late Latin ob- (meaning "against") plus loqui (meaning "to speak"), suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace; a typical example of its use would be "subjected to obloquy and derision."

Examples of obloquy in a Sentence

a victim of hatred and obloquy unable to mount a rational defense of her position, she unleashed a torrent of obloquy on her opponent
Recent Examples on the Web This kind of bitter obloquy can be found in the editorial pages of many global publications. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 29 Apr. 2021 The only freedom and independence are in learning to be equally indifferent to both praise and obloquy. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 27 Aug. 2019 Years later, Adams wrote that his decision ‘procured me anxiety, and obloquy …. James Hohmann, Washington Post, 8 June 2018 The cross-dressing women were not often the target of obloquy or mockery. Longreads, 8 May 2018 Years later, Adams wrote that his decision ‘procured me anxiety, and obloquy …. James Hohmann, Washington Post, 8 June 2018 The cross-dressing women were not often the target of obloquy or mockery. Longreads, 8 May 2018 The obloquy that would fall upon them for having done nothing could have cost many of them their seats—and perhaps jeopardized their party’s control of both chambers. Elizabeth Drew, New Republic, 21 Dec. 2017 Western intellectuals deserve their usual share of the obloquy. Martin Amis, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for obloquy

Middle English obloquie, obloqui, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French obloquie, borrowed from Late Latin obloquium, from obloquī "to speak against, blame" (going back to Latin, "to break in on, interrupt," from ob- "against" + loquī "to speak") + Latin -ium, deverbal suffix of function or state — more at eloquent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about obloquy

Time Traveler for obloquy

Time Traveler

The first known use of obloquy was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about obloquy

Statistics for obloquy

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Obloquy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obloquy. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for obloquy



English Language Learners Definition of obloquy

: harsh or critical statements about someone
: the condition of someone who lost the respect of other people

More from Merriam-Webster on obloquy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for obloquy


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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