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[ab-hawr] /æbˈhɔr/
verb (used with object), abhorred, abhorring.
to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate.
Origin of abhor
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin abhorrēre to shrink back from, shudder at, equivalent to ab- ab- + horrēre to bristle, tremble
Related forms
abhorrer, noun
superabhor, verb (used with object), superabhorred, superabhorring.
unabhorred, adjective
despise. See hate.
love, admire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for abhor
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The floors I abhor, made of red tiles in the shape of Mrs. Quincy's floor-cloth tiles.

    Abigail Adams and Her Times Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards
  • It is only for being what is called by that name that I abhor him.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • Their sole cosmetic consisted in unguents, which we now abhor as characteristic of the Hottentots.

  • I should abhor these clandestine correspondences, were they not forced upon me.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • I despise a weak woman, I hate a masculine one, and a pedantic one I abhor.

British Dictionary definitions for abhor


verb -hors, -horring, -horred
(transitive) to detest vehemently; find repugnant; reject
Derived Forms
abhorrer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin abhorrēre to shudder at, shrink from, from ab- away from + horrēre to bristle, shudder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abhor

mid-15c., from Latin abhorrere "shrink back from, have an aversion for, shudder at," from ab- "away" (see ab-) + horrere "tremble at, shudder," literally "to bristle, be shaggy," from PIE *ghers- "start out, stand out, rise to a point, bristle" (see horror). Related: Abhorred; abhorring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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