Definition of abject in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabdʒɛkt/


1(Of something bad) experienced or present to the maximum degree: his letter plunged her into abject misery abject poverty
More example sentences
  • People are having fun in this town, it's not all poverty and abject misery.
  • A small exploitative class of intermediaries benefited enormously from the neocolonial relationship, but the masses were sunk in abject poverty and misery.
  • The setting is one of abject poverty and misery, yet the upbeat caption tells us that even victims of disaster need a good shoeshine.
1.1(Of a situation or condition) extremely unpleasant and degrading: the abject condition of the peasants
More example sentences
  • One never knows why these people are thrown into a society where there is no development and these people are living in horrendous conditions of abject poverty.
  • I remember Mississippi tin shacks - those were abject conditions.
  • Few will dispute that a person in abject condition suffers a profound affront to his sense of dignity and intrinsic worth.
wretched, miserable, hopeless, pathetic, pitiful, pitiable, piteous, stark, sorry, forlorn, woeful, lamentable, degrading, appalling, atrocious, awful
2(Of a person or their behaviour) completely without pride or dignity; self-abasing: an abject apology
More example sentences
  • Since they are abject human beings, he implies, he does not have to engage them at that level.
  • This enhances our shock when the abject figure of Winston is finally revealed, stripped of all humanity.
  • Are parallels to the anarchic sensibilities of our own abject artists valid?
obsequious, grovelling, crawling, creeping, fawning, toadyish, servile, cringing, snivelling, ingratiating, toadying, sycophantic, submissive, craven, humiliating



Pronunciation: /abˈdʒɛkʃ(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • His intensely physical lead performance careens from raving belligerence to groveling abjection.
  • Immediately we turn to expressions of hope and faith, of God's history of faithfulness, before turning to words of abjection and humility.
  • He can't bear the fact that ‘the deception and abjection that filled his own soul was what he saw also in others, always.’


Pronunciation: /ˈabdʒɛktli/
Example sentences
  • Three days later they played abjectly in Croatia and lost 1-0.
  • You can't have a show called Politically Incorrect and then abjectly apologize for not being PC.
  • About time all those who voted for him abjectly expressed their apologies to the coming generation of young citizens.


Pronunciation: /ˈabdʒɛktnəs/
Example sentences
  • He must shoulder some responsibility for the abjectness of the past season.
  • United's abjectness was pivotal to them being routed by Rangers on Wednesday.
  • Is there no limit to the abjectness of the Church's response to terror?


Late Middle English (in the sense 'rejected'): from Latin abjectus, past participle of abicere 'reject', from ab- 'away' + jacere 'to throw'.

  • jet from late 16th century:

    The name jet for a hard black semi-precious mineral comes ultimately from the Greek word gagatēs ‘from Gagai’, a town in Asia Minor. When we refer to a jet of water or gas, or a jet aircraft, we are using a quite different word. It comes from a late 16th-century verb meaning ‘to jut out’, from French jeter ‘to throw’, which goes back to the Latin jacere ‘to throw’. Jut (mid 16th century) is a variant of jet in this sense. Jacere is found in a large number of English words including abject (Late Middle English) literally ‘thrown away’; conjecture (Late Middle English) ‘throw together’; deject (Late Middle English) ‘thrown down’; ejaculate (late 16th century) from jaculum ‘dart, something thrown’; eject (Late Middle English) ‘throw out’; inject (late 16th century) ‘throw in’; jetty (Late Middle English) something thrown out into the water; project (Late Middle English) ‘throw forth’; subject (Middle English) ‘thrown under’; trajectory (late 17th century) ‘something thrown across’. Especially if you use budget airlines, air travel today is far from glamorous, but in the 1950s the idea of flying abroad by jet aircraft was new and sophisticated. At the start of that decade people who flew for pleasure came to be known as the jet set.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ab¦ject

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