opprobrium

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noun op·pro·bri·um \ ə-ˈprō-brē-əm \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of opprobrium

1 :something that brings disgrace
2 a :public disgrace or ill fame that follows from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious
  • Collaborators with the enemy did not escape the opprobrium of the townspeople.
b :contempt, reproach
  • The bombing of the church was met with widespread opprobrium.

opprobrium was our Word of the Day on 12/27/2014. Hear the podcast!

Examples of opprobrium in a Sentence

  1. They're going ahead with the plan despite public opprobrium.

  2. saw no reason why secretary should suddenly become a term of opprobrium among the politically correct

Recent Examples of opprobrium from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Opprobrium was borrowed into English from Latin in the 17th century. It came from the Latin verb opprobrare, which means "to reproach." That verb in turn came from the noun probrum, meaning "disgraceful act or "reproach." These gave us "opprobrium" as well as its adjective form "opprobrious," which means "scurrilous" or "infamous." One might commit an "opprobrious crime" or be berated with "opprobrious language." "Probrum" gave English another word too, but you might have a little trouble guessing it. It's "exprobrate," an archaic synonym of "censure" or "upbraid."

Origin and Etymology of opprobrium

borrowed from Latin, derivative (with -ium, deverbal suffix of function or state), of opprobrāre "to bring up as a reproach," from ob- ob- + -probrāre, verbal derivative of probrum "reproach, insult, disgrace," probably noun derivative of *pro-fro- "brought up against someone (as a reproach)," going back to Indo-European *pro-bhr-o, from *pro- "before" + *bhr-, ablaut grade of *bher- "carry, bring" — more at 1for, 2bear

opprobrium Synonyms

Synonyms
dishonor, disgrace, reflection, reproach, scandal
Antonyms
credit, honor
Related Words
blot, brand, slur, smirch, spot, stain, stigma, taint
Near Antonyms
boast, glory, jewel, pride, treasure


OPPROBRIUM Defined for English Language Learners

opprobrium

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noun

Definition of opprobrium for English Language Learners

  • : very strong disapproval or criticism of a person or thing especially by a large number of people



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