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From Middle English abjeccioun, from either Middle French abjection or Late Latin abiectiōn-, from Latin abiectus (cast down).[1][2]


  • IPA(key): /æbˈd͡ʒɛk.ʃn̩/
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abjection (countable and uncountable, plural abjections)

  1. A low or downcast condition; meanness of spirit; abasement; degradation. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).][2]
    an abjection from the beatific regions where God, and his angels and saints, dwell forever
  2. (obsolete, chiefly figuratively) Something cast off; garbage. [Attested from around (1350 to 1470) until the mid 16th century.][2]
  3. (obsolete) The act of bringing down or humbling; casting down. [Attested from the early 16th century until the mid 17th century.][2]
    The abjection of the king and his realm.
  4. (obsolete) The act of casting off; rejection. [Attested from the early 17th century until the mid 17th century.][2]
  5. (sociology) The fact of being marginalized as deviant.
    • 2009 September 10, W. C. Harris, Queer Externalities: Hazardous Encounters in American Culture, SUNY Press, →ISBN, page 98:
      The disclosure of tolerance's hidden phobic lining fits in well with queer theory's embrace of the abject as exhorted by Michael Warner, David Halperin, and Lee Edelman. Embracing difference or culturally ascribed abjection with the aim of overcoming or dissipating it would be both naive and ineffective.
  6. (biology, mycology) The act of dispersing or casting off spores.



  1. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief, William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abjection”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford, New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5.



From Latin abiectiōnem.



abjection f (plural abjections)

  1. (literary) something that is worthy of utter contempt

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