noun ob·lo·quy \ˈä-blə-kwē\

Definition of obloquy



  1. 1 :  a strongly condemnatory utterance :  abusive language held to their convictions in the face of obloquy

  2. 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

obloquy was our Word of the Day on 10/06/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of obloquy in a sentence

  1. a victim of hatred and obloquy

  2. unable to mount a rational defense of her position, she unleashed a torrent of obloquy on her opponent

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."

Origin and Etymology of obloquy

Middle English obloquie, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin obloquium, from obloqui to speak against, from ob- against + loqui to speak

First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of 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.

OBLOQUY Defined for English Language Learners


noun ob·lo·quy \ˈä-blə-kwē\

Definition of obloquy for English Language Learners

  • : harsh or critical statements about someone

  • : the condition of someone who lost the respect of other people

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