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 loquī (meaning "to speak"), suggests defamation and consequent shame and disgrace; a typical example of its use is "subjected to obloquy and derision."
The manager walked quickly back to the dugout as insults and obloquy rained down from the stands.
"During [literary critic Harold Bloom's] extremely prolific career, his audience was split between adulation and obloquy." — Benjamin Ivry, The Forward, 14 Oct. 2019
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Word Family Quiz
Fill in the blanks to complete an adjective that derives from Latin loquī ("to speak") and means "speaking in or characterized by a high-flown style or manner": m _ _ n _ lo _ u _ n _.VIEW THE ANSWER
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