op·​pro·​bri·​um ə-ˈprō-brē-əm How to pronounce opprobrium (audio)
: something that brings disgrace
: 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.
: contempt, reproach
The bombing of the church was met with widespread opprobrium.

Did you know?

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

Examples of opprobrium in a Sentence

They're going ahead with the plan despite public opprobrium. saw no reason why “secretary” should suddenly become a term of opprobrium among the politically correct
Recent Examples on the Web The respect the Dalai Lama receives around the world stands in stark contrast to the opprobrium heaped on him by the Chinese government. Lobsang Sangay, Foreign Affairs, 6 Nov. 2023 Heatherwick’s contribution to this long saga of opprobrium is a tone of quiet hysteria mixed with patient explanation. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 23 Oct. 2023 After his May court appearance, Yoo was hit on the head by a bottle-wielding assailant, an incident that points to Korean public opprobrium being as weighty a punishment as a court verdict. Patrick Frater, Variety, 20 Oct. 2023 Future problems Paxton’s ability to brush aside opprobrium and obloquy in Texas politics is nearly unrivaled. Lauren McGaughy, Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2023 In the face of that level of opprobrium, for four years — 2015 to 2018 — Gottwald’s songwriting and production career seemed to fade. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 16 Aug. 2023 The United Arab Emirates, the organizers of the event, will need to weigh the opprobrium that hangs over the Taliban against the much greater benefit of including all regimes in talks about how to survive a worsening climate. Graeme Smith, Foreign Affairs, 11 Aug. 2023 Then came the backlash: in 2021, a trailer for the film adaptation for Dear Evan Hansen was met with widespread opprobrium, with many TikTok teens brutally lambasting the then-27-year-old Platt for being too old for the role. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 14 July 2023 Caught up in a whirlwind of public opprobrium, Demna and the brand’s executives seemed unsure how to react, before finally offering up statements of public apologies and self-recrimination. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 1 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'opprobrium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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 for entry 1, bear entry 2

First Known Use

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of opprobrium was in 1647


Dictionary Entries Near opprobrium

Cite this Entry

“Opprobrium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opprobrium. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


op·​pro·​bri·​um ə-ˈprō-brē-əm How to pronounce opprobrium (audio)
: very strong disapproval

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