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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 abjectly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is too abjectly selfish and groveling to command the least respect from a noble character or a great, tender soul.

    Men, Women, and Gods Helen H. Gardener
  • His polished manners seemed to me abjectly servile with Edmee.

    Mauprat George Sand
  • She slid to her knees, abjectly clasped his waist and laid her face against him.

    Life's Little Ironies Thomas Hardy
  • They stood knee-deep in the clutter and lumber, facing each other abjectly.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • He is timid and scared to the last degree, and abjectly anxious to please if it does not entail too much exertion.

  • The man had insulted him grossly, and had apologised as abjectly; that was his view of the incident.

    The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman
  • He knew—yes, as he had never known anything—that, should he see the door open, it would all too abjectly be the end of him.

    The Jolly Corner Henry James
  • He was abjectly in love and abjectly submissive, and Claudia had never been so kind.

    Despair's Last Journey David Christie Murray
  • He had abjectly humbled himself before Cæsar, who treated him with kind respect.

British Dictionary definitions for abjectly


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 abjectly



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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