Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- 1 English
- 2 French
- (attributive): (US) IPA(key): /ˈæb.d͡ʒɛkt/, enPR: 'ăbjĕkt
- (US) IPA(key): /æbˈd͡ʒɛkt/, enPR: ăbʹjĕkt
- Rhymes: -ɛkt
Audio (UK) (file)
- From Middle English abiect (“outcast, wretched”), from Latin abiectus, past participle of abiciō (“to throw away, cast off, to reject”), from ab (“away”) + iaciō (“to throw”).
- (obsolete) Rejected; cast aside. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the early 17th century.]
- Sunk to or existing in a low condition, state, or position. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
- Cast down in spirit or hope; degraded; servile; grovelling; despicable; lacking courage; offered in a humble and often ingratiating spirit. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second:
- An abject liar.
(Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew, I-ii:
- And banish hence these abject, lowly dreams.
1931, Faulkner, Sanctuary, ii:
- He sat obediently with that tentative and abject eagerness of a man who has but one pleasure left and whom the world can reach only through one sense, for he was both blind and deaf.
- Showing utter hopelessness, helplessness; showing resignation; wretched. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
- Nouns to which "abject" is often applied: poverty, fear, terror, submission, misery, failure, state, condition, apology, humility, servitude, manner, coward.
- beggarly, contemptible, cringing, degraded, groveling, ignoble, mean, mean-spirited, slavish, vile, worthless
Sunk to a low condition; down in spirit or hope
Cast down; rejected; low-lying
- 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 Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
abject (plural abjects)
- A person in the lowest and most despicable condition; a castaway; outcast. [First attested from the late 15th century.]
(Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene I:
- We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.
A person in the lowest and most despicable condition
- (transitive, obsolete) To cast off or out; to reject. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 17th century.]
2001, Jana Evans Braziel, Kathleen LeBesco (editors), Bodies out of bounds: fatness and transgression, page 141:
- Rather than abjecting her own fat body, the Ipecac-taking fat girl is abjecting diet culture.
- (transitive, obsolete) To cast down; hence, to abase; to degrade; to lower; to debase. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the late 17th century.]
- (Can we find and add a quotation of John Donne to this entry?)
To cast off or down
- ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 , ISBN 0550142304), page 3
- Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 , ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 5
- ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 , ISBN 0-87779-101-5), page 4
- (literary) Worthy of utmost contempt or disgust; vile; despicable.
- (literary, obsolete) Of the lowest social position.
- Abject lacks the idea of groveling, of moral degradation over time that is present in the English word.