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First attested around 1350. From Middle English abominacioun, from Middle French abomination (horror, disgust), from Late Latin abōminātiō (abomination); ab (away from) + ōminārī (prophesy, foreboding), from ōmen (omen).[1] Doublet of abominatio. abominate +‎ -ion



abomination (countable and uncountable, plural abominations)

  1. (countable) An abominable act; a disgusting vice; a despicable habit. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 160:
      Religious sodomy was practised by male prostitutes in the Hebrew temple groves, which was one of the abominations of Israel that Josiah cleared away.
  2. (uncountable) The feeling of extreme disgust and hatred [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    Synonyms: abhorrence, aversion, detestation, disgust, loathing, loathsomeness, odiousness
  3. (obsolete, uncountable) A state that excites detestation or abhorrence; pollution. [Attested from around 1350-1470 to the late 15th century.][2]
  4. (countable) That which is abominable, shamefully vile; an object that excites disgust and hatred; very often with religious undertones. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][2]
    Synonym: perversion
    • 1606, Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, III-vi:
      Antony, most large in his abominations.


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  1. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 “abomination”, 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, page 6.



From Late Latin abominationem



abomination f (plural abominations)

  1. Something vile and abominable; an abomination.
  2. (chiefly religion) Revulsion, abomination, disgust.

Further reading[edit]