First attested in 1449, from Middle English abhorren, borrowed from Middle French abhorrer, from Latin abhorreō (“shrink away from in horror”), from ab- (“from”) + horreō (“stand aghast, bristle with fear”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əbˈhɔː(ɹ)/
- (General American) IPA(key): /æbˈhoɹ/, /əbˈhoɹ/
Audio (UK) (file) Audio (US) (file) Audio (CA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)
- (transitive) To regard (someone or something) as horrifying or detestable; to feel great repugnance toward. [First attested from around (1350 to 1470).]
- (transitive, obsolete, impersonal) To fill with horror or disgust. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the early 17th century.]
- 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 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
- It does abhor me now I speak the word.
- (transitive) To turn aside or avoid; to keep away from; to reject.
- (transitive, canon law, obsolete) To protest against; to reject solemnly.
- 1613, William Shakespeare; [John Fletcher], “The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iv]:
- I utterly abhor, yea, from my soul Refuse you for my judge.
- (intransitive, obsolete) To feel horror, disgust, or dislike (towards); to be contrary or averse (to); construed with from. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the mid 17th century.]
- 1531, Thomas Elyot, Ernest Rhys, editor, The Boke Named the Governour […] (Everyman’s Library), London: J[oseph] M[alaby] Dent & Co; New York, N.Y.: E[dward] P[ayson] Dutton & Co, published , OCLC 1026313858:
- the daunce were to their honour and memorie, whiche moste of all abhored from Christes religion
- 1644, J[ohn] M[ilton], chapter 7, in The Doctrine or Discipline of Divorce: […], 2nd edition, London: [s.n.], OCLC 868004604, book II:
- Either then the law by harmless and needful dispenses, which the gospel is now made to deny, must have anticipated and exceeded the grace of the gospel, or else must be found to have given politic and superficial graces without real pardon, saying in general, “do this and live,” and yet deceiving and damning underhand with unsound and hollow permissions; which is utterly abhorring from the end of all law, as hath been shewed.
- (intransitive, obsolete) Differ entirely from. [Attested from the mid 16th century until the late 17th century.]
Conjugation of abhor
|present tense||past tense|
|2nd-person singular||abhor, abhorrest†||abhorred, abhorredst†|
|3rd-person singular||abhors, abhorreth†||abhorred|
- (to regard as horrifying or detestable): See Thesaurus:hate
to regard with horror or detestation
- abhor in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- abhor in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911
- ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 , →ISBN), page 2
- Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abhor”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 4.