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From Middle English abjectli (“with great humility”), from abject (“outcast, rejected; wretched; humble, lowly; of poor quality, worthless; menial”) + -li (suffix forming adverbs); analysable as abject + -ly.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /æbˈd͡ʒɛktli/, /ˈæbd͡ʒɛktli/
- (General American) IPA(key): /æbˈd͡ʒɛktli/, /-ˈd͡ʒɛkli/
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- Hyphenation: ab‧ject‧ly
- In an abject fashion; with great shame; desperately. [first attested c. 1350–1470]
- Antonym: (somewhat) proudly
- I abjectly apologise for the damage I have done.
- 1806, Thoughts on Deceit, Margate, Kent: Printed by J. Warren, […], OCLC 504015846, pages 15–16:
- A deceitful man is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He will appear innocent, cheerful, polite, attentive, kind, obliging, and abjectly condescending; but let him once get you into his power and he becomes more ferocious, more cruel, and more destructive than the most savage animals that ever trod in deserts uninhabited by rational beings.
- 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “Leg and Arm. The Pequod, of Nantucket, Meets the Samuel Enderby, of London.”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 486:
- So, deprived of one leg, and the strange ship of course being altogether unsupplied with the kindly invention, Ahab now found himself abjectly reduced to a clumsy landsman again; hopelessly eyeing the uncertain changeful height he could hardly hope to attain.
in an abject fashion; with great shame; desperately
- Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abjectly”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 5.