odi·​ous | \ ˈō-dē-əs How to pronounce odious (audio) \

Definition of odious

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

Other Words from odious

odiously adverb
odiousness noun

The Origin of Odious

Odious comes from Latin odiosus; that adjective is from the word for "hatred," odium. Odium is related to the English verb annoy, and it is used in English to mean "hatred" or "disgrace."

Examples of odious in a Sentence

Two of them—his mother Livia and his odious sister Janice—were at heart killers like himself. — Geoffrey O'Brien, New York Review of Books, 16 Aug. 2007 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 Wooten, New York Times Magazine, 29 Jan 1995 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 McCallum, Sports Illustrated, 30 July 1990 It was one of the most odious crimes of recent history. an odious and unforgivable insult
Recent Examples on the Web The juxtaposition of the brothers’ murder with the history of the faith proved especially odious for Church leaders, who immediately criticized Krakauer’s work. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 29 Apr. 2022 Judged by the standards of American liberalism, many of Orbán's policies are odious, and his public rhetoric even worse. Damon Linker, The Week, 5 Apr. 2022 Of all the non-competitive nonsense of the last few years, the blatant tanking was not the most odious. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 7 Apr. 2022 Now, some will say that Black Americans have been so traumatized by the odious uses of the word that the very sound of it causes distress. New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 But Jack's set on the odious Cressida Cowper, who remains the worst in both personality and hair decorations. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 26 Mar. 2022 Perhaps the most odious example of this is the cynical rise of anti-vaccine propaganda. David Robert Grimes, Scientific American, 28 Mar. 2022 The odious pandemic-era changes to the game are gone: the seven-inning game for doubleheaders, the phantom base-runners in extra innings. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 11 Mar. 2022 There is no overt anti-Semitism in Doderer’s novel, nothing even remotely close to the odious caricatures one finds in, say, Hemingway and Wharton. Francine Prose, The New York Review of Books, 23 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of odious

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for odious

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

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The first known use of odious was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Odious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odious. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for odious


odi·​ous | \ ˈō-dē-əs How to pronounce odious (audio) \

Kids Definition of odious

: causing hatred or strong dislike : worthy of hatred

More from Merriam-Webster on odious

Nglish: Translation of odious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of odious for Arabic Speakers


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