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 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 notesEdit

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


Related termsEdit