Word of the Day : October 6, 2014


noun AH-bluh-kwee


1 : a strongly condemnatory utterance : abusive language

2 : the condition of one that is discredited : bad repute

Did You Know?

English speakers can choose from several synonyms to name a tongue-lashing. Abuse is a good general term that usually stresses the anger of the speaker and the harshness of the language, as in "scathing verbal abuse." Vituperation often specifies fluent, sustained abuse; "a torrent of vituperation" is a typical use of this term. Invective implies vehemence comparable to vituperation, but may suggest greater verbal and rhetorical skill; it may also apply especially to a public denunciation, as in "blistering political invective." Obloquy, which comes from the Late Latin ob- (meaning "against") plus loqui (meaning "to speak"), suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace; a typical example of its use would be "subjected to obloquy and derision."


The manager walked quickly back to the dugout as insults and obloquy rained down from the stands.

"Because of the stigma associated with drug convictions, such an indictment could be tantamount to a life sentence of obloquy in terms of future employment." - Floral Park Dispatch, January 15, 2014

Test Your Vocabulary

What is the name of the fish market in London, England, that gave us a word for abusive language? The answer is …


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