From Middle French detester, from Latin detestari (“to imprecate evil while calling the gods to witness", "denounce", "hate intensely”), from de- + testari (“to testify, bear witness”), from testis (“a witness”); see test, testify.
- (transitive) To dislike (someone or something) intensely; to loathe.
- I detest snakes.
- (transitive, obsolete) To witness against; to denounce; to condemn.
- 1655, Thomas Fuller, James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, […], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), new edition, London: […] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, […], published 1837, OCLC 913056315:
- The heresy of Nestorius […] was detested in the Eastern churches.
- 1545, John Bale, The Image of Both Churches
- God hath detested them with his own mouth.
- See also Thesaurus:hate
to dislike intensely
- detest in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- detest in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.