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[dih-tes-tuh-buh l] /dɪˈtɛs tə bəl/
deserving to be detested; abominable; hateful.
Origin of detestable
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin dētestābilis, equivalent to dētest(ārī) to detest + -ābilis -able
Related forms
detestability, detestableness, noun
detestably, adverb
undetestability, noun
undetestable, adjective
undetestableness, noun
undetestably, adverb
execrable, abhorrent, loathsome, odious, vile. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for detestable
  • The need to ascribe to others those rather detestable characteristics that one recognizes in oneself--but cannot afford to own.
  • All of which would be a sad and detestable bit of history, except that it is happening again.
  • They were detestable actions that resulted in loss of life.
  • Nothing was ever written more detestable in matter and manner.
  • She was magnificent in her work, although a detestable job.
  • Editorial comments from northern newspapers immediately denounced the decision as wicked, detestable, and cowardly.
British Dictionary definitions for detestable


being or deserving to be abhorred or detested; abominable; odious
Derived Forms
detestability, detestableness, noun
detestably, adverb
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 detestable

early 15c., from Middle French détestable (14c.), from Latin detestabilis "execrable, abominable," from detestari (see detest). Related: Detestably.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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