abject

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English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

PIE word
*h₂epó

The adjective is derived from Late Middle English abiect, abject (expelled, outcast, rejected, wretched, adjective) [and other forms],[1] from Middle French abject (worthy of utmost contempt or disgust, despicable, vile; of a person: brought low, cast down; of low social position) (modern French abject, abjet (obsolete)), and from its etymon Latin abiectus (abandoned; cast or thrown aside; dejected, downcast; ordinary, undistinguished, unimportant; (by extension) base, sordid; despicable, vile; humble, low; subservient), an adjective use of the perfect passive participle of abiciō (to discard, throw away or down; to cast or push away or aside; to abandon, give up; to belittle, degrade, humble; to lower, reduce; to overthrow, vanquish; to undervalue; to waste), from ab- (prefix meaning ‘away; away from; from’) + iaciō (to cast, hurl, throw, throw away) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(H)yeh₁- (to throw)).[2][3]

The noun is derived from the adjective.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

abject (comparative abjecter or more abject, superlative abjectest or most abject)

  1. Existing in or sunk to a low condition, position, or state; contemptible, despicable, miserable. [from early 15th c.]
    Synonyms: degraded, (archaic) demiss, ignoble, mean, vile, wretched, worthless
    Antonym: unabject
  2. (by extension)
    1. (chiefly with a negative connotation) Complete; downright; utter.
      Synonyms: out-and-out, unmitigated; see also Thesaurus:total
      abject failure   abject nonsense   abject terror
    2. (rare) Lower than nearby areas; low-lying.
  3. Of a person: cast down in hope or spirit; showing utter helplessness, hopelessness, or resignation; also, grovelling; ingratiating; servile. [from mid 14th c.]
    Synonyms: beggarly, cringing, slavish
    Antonym: unabject
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

abject (plural abjects)

  1. A person in the lowest and most despicable condition; an oppressed person; an outcast; also, such people as a class. [from early 16th c.]
    Synonyms: (rare) heanling, wretch
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Late Middle English abjecten (to cast out, expel) [and other forms],[4] from abiect, abject (adjective) (see etymology 1).[5]

Sense 3 (“of a fungus: to give off (spores or sporidia)”) is modelled after German abschleudern (to give off forcefully).[5]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

abject (third-person singular simple present abjects, present participle abjecting, simple past and past participle abjected) (transitive, chiefly archaic)

  1. To cast off or out (someone or something); to reject, especially as contemptible or inferior. [from 15th c.]
  2. To cast down (someone or something); to abase; to debase; to degrade; to lower; also, to forcibly impose obedience or servitude upon (someone); to subjugate. [from 15th c.]
  3. (mycology) Of a fungus: to (forcibly) give off (spores or sporidia).
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abject, ppl.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 abject, adj. and n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021
  3. ^ abject, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. ^ abjecten, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Compare “abject, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 4
  • Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 3
  • Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abject”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5.

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French abject, from Latin abiectus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

abject (comparative abjecter, superlative abjectst)

  1. reprehensible, despicable, abject
    Het is teleologisch, infaam en het is abject.
    It is teleological, scandalous and it is reprehensible.

Inflection[edit]

Inflection of abject
uninflected abject
inflected abjecte
comparative abjecter
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial abject abjecter het abjectst
het abjectste
indefinite m./f. sing. abjecte abjectere abjectste
n. sing. abject abjecter abjectste
plural abjecte abjectere abjectste
definite abjecte abjectere abjectste
partitive abjects abjecters

Derived terms[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin abiectus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

abject (feminine abjecte, masculine plural abjects, feminine plural abjectes)

  1. (literary) Worthy of utmost contempt or disgust; vile; despicable
  2. (literary, obsolete) of the lowest social position

Usage notes[edit]

  • Abject lacks the idea of groveling, of moral degradation over time that is present in the English word.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • German: abjekt
  • Norwegian Bokmål: abjekt
  • Romanian: abject

Further reading[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French abject, from Latin abiectus.

Adjective[edit]

abject m or n (feminine singular abjectă, masculine plural abjecți, feminine and neuter plural abjecte)

  1. abject

Declension[edit]