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[ab-jekt, ab-jekt] /ˈæb dʒɛkt, æbˈdʒɛkt/
utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or wretched:
abject poverty.
contemptible; despicable; base-spirited:
an abject coward.
shamelessly servile; slavish.
Obsolete. cast aside.
Origin of abject
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin abjectus thrown down (past participle of abicere, abjicere), equivalent to ab- ab- + -jec- throw + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
abjectly, adverb
abjectness, abjectedness, noun
unabject, adjective
unabjectly, adverb
unabjectness, noun
Can be confused
abject, object.
1. debasing, degrading; miserable. 2. base, mean, low, vile.
exalted. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for abject
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The abject common-sense of his ex-fiance could be borne with perhaps more philosophy.

    The Confounding of Camelia Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • Mayhap some day I'll understand the riddle which their abject persons did represent.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Despite his subsequent surrender to Krishna, and abject worship of him, Indra is still incensed and bluntly refuses.

  • The Cæsar will never forgive me that I witnessed his abject humiliation.

    "Unto Caesar" Baroness Emmuska Orczy
  • Just you watch him, abject as a yaller dawg, squirming and writhing and crawling to meet the only gentleman in that country.

    A Man in the Open Roger Pocock
British Dictionary definitions for abject


utterly wretched or hopeless
miserable; forlorn; dejected
indicating humiliation; submissive: an abject apology
contemptible; despicable; servile: an abject liar
Derived Forms
abjection, noun
abjectly, adverb
abjectness, noun
Word Origin
C14: (in the sense: rejected, cast out): from Latin abjectus thrown or cast away, from abjicere, from ab- away + jacere to throw
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 abject

early 15c., "cast off, rejected," from Latin abiectus, past participle of abicere "to throw away, cast off; degrade, humble, lower," from ab- "away, off" (see ab-) + iacere "to throw" (past participle iactus; see jet (v.)). Figurative sense of "downcast, brought low" first attested 1510s. Related: Abjectly; abjectness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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