Word of the Day : February 1, 2016

abject

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adjective AB-jekt

Definition

1 : sunk to or existing in a low state or condition

2 a : cast down in spirit : servile, spiritless

b : showing hopelessness or resignation

3 : expressing or offered in a humble and often ingratiating spirit

Did You Know?

Abject comes from abjectus, the past participle of the Latin verb abicere, meaning "to cast off." Its original meaning in English was "cast off" or "rejected," but it is now used to refer more broadly to things in a low state or condition. Abject shares with mean, ignoble, and sordid the sense of being below the normal standards of human decency and dignity. Abject may imply degradation, debasement, or servility ("abject poverty"). Mean suggests having such repellent characteristics as small-mindedness or ill temper ("mean and petty satire"). Ignoble suggests a loss or lack of some essential high quality of mind or spirit ("an ignoble scramble after material possessions"). Sordid is stronger than all of these in stressing physical or spiritual degradation and lowness ("a sordid story of murder and revenge").


Examples

The organization is dedicated to alleviating the suffering of those living in abject poverty.

"Harvey, the comedian and TV-radio host, offered abject apologies after first saying Miss Colombia had won, then later Miss Philippines—to the world’s shock and amazement." — Ken Stone, MyNewsLA.com, 21 Dec. 2015



Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of abject: c _ _ pf _ _ len.

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