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[ab-hawr-uhns, -hor-]
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  1. a feeling of extreme repugnance or aversion; utter loathing; abomination.
  2. something or someone extremely repugnant or loathsome.
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Origin of abhorrence

First recorded in 1650–60; abhorr(ent) + -ence
Related formsself-ab·hor·rence, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for abhorrence

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • There was accusation, denunciation, abhorrence in the cashier's gaze.


    W. A. Fraser

  • They formed my character, and filled me with an abhorrence of evil-doers.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • He took it and cast it back to me in abhorrence and contempt, with all the strength he could muster.

  • And Plato might also have found that the intuition of evil may be consistent with the abhorrence of it.

  • Every ragged Moor in the streets greeted them with exclamations of menace and abhorrence.

    The Scapegoat

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for abhorrence


  1. a feeling of extreme loathing or aversion
  2. a person or thing that is loathsome
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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

Word Origin and History for abhorrence


1650s; see abhorrent + -ence.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper