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

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Other Words from odious

odiously adverb
odiousness noun

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").

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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Is Max Boot America’s Most Repetitious Columnist?," 9 Sep. 2019 President Donald Trump is averse to spending money on foreigners; both parties in Congress find the thought of working with Mr Assad odious. The Economist, "Syria’s war is drawing to a close. But the pain will go on," 5 Sep. 2019 This spring, the odious something appeared — forcing a mom, dad and eight children to move out of their spacious house and into a travel trailer parked on their driveway. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Troy homeowners’ horror: 'Dad, something really stinks in the basement'," 12 July 2019 As odious as the far-left congresswomen are, denying them entry will hurt the Jewish state far more than their visit would have. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "Banning Omar and Tlaib May Help Trump, but It Hurts Israel," 16 Aug. 2019 To use the designation simply to put pressure on an odious regime is generally a bad idea. Alex Ward, Vox, "The US may name Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism. Here’s why that could backfire.," 20 Nov. 2018 Until the signing of that odious agreement in 2007, the girls believed the FBI was still investigating. Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Government turns its back on Jeffrey Epstein’s sex victims," 11 July 2019 But then Charlie’s father dies, and to pay his debts, Charlie is forced to work for the odious Cap’n Buck, an evil plantation overseer and slave catcher. Constance Grady, Vox, "We read all 25 National Book Award finalists for 2018. Here’s what we thought.," 15 Nov. 2018 Banning or even burdening the freedom to advocate for changing governmental policies, no matter how unpopular or odious the message may be, violates not only the First Amendment but the idea of government by the people. David B. Rivkin And Randal John Meyer, WSJ, "Another IRS Free-Speech Scandal," 22 Nov. 2018

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.

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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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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for odious

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

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More Definitions for odious



English Language Learners Definition of odious

formal : causing hatred or strong dislike


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

Kids Definition of odious

: causing hatred or strong dislike : worthy of hatred

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More from Merriam-Webster on odious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for odious

Spanish Central: Translation of odious

Nglish: Translation of odious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of odious for Arabic Speakers

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