Know how to use "fewer" and "less"? Find out.
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.