Word of the Day : December 27, 2014

opprobrium

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noun uh-PROH-bree-um

Definition

1 : something that brings disgrace

2 a : public disgrace or ill fame that follows from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious

b : contempt, reproach

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 and upbraid.


Examples

The athlete's admission of using steroids earned her much opprobrium from fans.

"People flocked here to break free from the shackles of conformity and societal opprobrium, experimenting in every field of human endeavor with little fear of official disdain." - Gilbert Ross, New York Observer, October 21, 2014



Test Your Memory

Fill in the blank in this sentence from our December 19th Word of the Day: "Dr. Portman practices a _________ form of medicine, borrowing from both Eastern and Western medical traditions." The answer is …


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