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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for abhorrent in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


Borrowed from Latin abhorrēns, abhorrēntis, present active participle of abhorreō (abhor). See abhor


  • (UK) IPA(key): /æbˈɔɹ.ənt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /æbˈhɔɹ.ənt/, /æbˈhɑɹ.ənt/


abhorrent (comparative more abhorrent, superlative most abhorrent)

  1. (archaic) Inconsistent with, or far removed from, something; strongly opposed [Late 16th century.][1]
    abhorrent thoughts
    • 1803, Edmund Burke, (Please provide the book title or journal name)[1]:
      The persons most abhorrent from blood, and treason, and arbitrary confiscation, might remain silent spectators of this civil war between the vices.
  2. Contrary to something; discordant. [Mid 17th century.][1]
    • 1827, Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline And Fall of the Roman Empire[2]:
      This legal, and, as it should seem, injudicious profanation, so abhorrent to out stricter principles, was received with a very faint murmur, ...
    • 1990, James Hankins, Plato in the Italian Renaissance[3]:
      In establishing his ideal state he expressed some opinions utterly abhorrent to our customs and ways of living. He believed, for instance, that all wives should be held in common ... with the result that no one could tell his own children from those of a perfect stranger.
  3. Abhorring; detesting; having or showing abhorrence; loathing. [Mid 18th century.][1]
  4. Detestable or repugnant. [Early 19th century.][1]
    • 1833, Isaac Taylor, Fanaticism[4]:
      If Pride, abhorrent as it is, and if Ambition, ...
    • 1936, Paul E. More, On Being Human[5]:
      That, I protest, is a doctrine psychologically impossible and ethically abhorrent.
    • 1822, Richard Clover, Leonidas[6]:
      The arts of pleasure in despotic courts I spurn, abhorrent; in a spotless heart I look for pleasure.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which abhorrent is often applied: behavior, act, crime, practice, thing.
  • (opposed): abhorrent is typically folled by from.
  • (contrary): abhorrent is followed by to.

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 “abhorrent” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 4.

Further reading[edit]





  1. third-person plural present indicative of abhorrer
  2. third-person plural present subjunctive of abhorrer




  1. third-person plural present active indicative of abhorreō