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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman, from Old French odieus, from Latin odiōsus, from odium (hate).



odious (comparative more odious, superlative most odious)

  1. Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure.
    Scrubbing the toilet is an odious task.
    • 1903, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”, in The Return of Sherlock HolmesWikisource:
      "He was a dreadful person, a bully to everyone else, but to me something infinitely worse. He made odious love to me, boasted of his wealth, said that if I married him I would have the finest diamonds in London, and finally, when I would have nothing to do with him, he seized me in his arms one day after dinner -- he was hideously strong -- and he swore that he would not let me go until I had kissed him."
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, chapter 6, in Frankenstein[1]:
      He looks upon study as an odious fetter; his time is spent in the open air, climbing the hills or rowing on the lake.
    • 1750, Thomas Morell (lyrics), George Frideric Handel (music), “Theodora”‎[2]:
      I own no crime, unless it be a crime to've hindered you from perpetrating that which would have made you odious to mankind, at least the fairest half.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "odious" is often applied: debt, man, character, crime, task, comparison, woman, person, vice, word, act.