adjective odi·ous \ ˈō-dē-əs \
Updated on: 15 Feb 2018

Definition of odious

: arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance : hateful
  • an odious crime
  • a false and odious comparison





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Examples of odious in a Sentence

  1. Two of them—his mother Livia and his odious sister Janice—were at heart killers like himself. —Geoffrey O'BrienNew York Review of Books16 Aug. 2007
  2. He learned an important lesson some years ago in Panama. Manuel Antonio Noriega was too odious even for Carter, who shunned the Panamanian strongman in the run-up to the 1989 ballot there. —Jim WootenNew York Times Magazine29 Jan 1995
  3. But, alas, I know the real me, the me with the soft, round stomach and the love handles, odious first cousins to the paunch. —Jack McCallumSports Illustrated30 July 1990
  4. It was one of the most odious crimes of recent history.

  5. an odious and unforgivable insult

Recent Examples of odious from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'odious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

The Origin of odious

Odious has been with us since the days of Middle English. We borrowed it from Anglo-French, which in turn had taken it from Latin odiosus. The Latin adjective came from the noun odium, meaning "hatred." Odium is also an ancestor of the English verb annoy (another word that came to Middle English via Anglo-French). And, at the beginning of the 17th century, odium entered English in its unaltered form, giving us a noun meaning "hatred" or "disgrace" (as in "ideas that have incurred much odium").

Origin and Etymology of odious

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin odiosus, from odium — see odium

ODIOUS Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of odious for English Language Learners

  • : causing hatred or strong dislike

ODIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective odi·ous \ ˈō-dē-əs \

Definition of odious for Students

: causing hatred or strong dislike : worthy of hatred

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an inn where caravans rest at night

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