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From Middle English odious, from Old French odieus, from Latin odiōsus, from odium (hate).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈəʊ.di.əs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈoʊ.di.əs/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -əʊdiəs


odious (comparative more odious, superlative most odious)

  1. Arousing or meriting strong dislike, aversion, or intense displeasure.
    Scrubbing the toilets in the bar at the end of a Saturday night is an odious task.
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene ii], lines 179-80:
      You told a lie, an odious damned lie: / Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!
    • 1750, “Theodora”, Thomas Morell (lyrics), George Frideric Handel (music)‎[1]:
      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.
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, chapter 6, in Frankenstein[2], archived from the original on 8 May 2013:
      He looks upon study as an odious fetter; his time is spent in the open air, climbing the hills or rowing on the lake.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 2, in The History of Pendennis. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      He always detested the trade, and it was only necessity, and the offer of his mother’s brother, a London apothecary of low family, into which Pendennis’s father had demeaned himself by marrying, that forced John Pendennis into so odious a calling.
    • 1903 December 26, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”, in The Return of Sherlock Holmes, New York, N.Y.: McClure, Phillips & Co., published February 1905, →OCLC:
      "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."


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