[ab-jekt, ab-jekt]
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  1. utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or wretched: abject poverty.
  2. contemptible; despicable; base-spirited: an abject coward.
  3. shamelessly servile; slavish.
  4. Obsolete. cast aside.

Origin of abject

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 formsab·ject·ly, adverbab·ject·ness, ab·ject·ed·ness, nounun·ab·ject, adjectiveun·ab·ject·ly, adverbun·ab·ject·ness, noun
Can be confusedabject object

Synonyms for abject

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1. debasing, degrading; miserable. 2. base, mean, low, vile.

Antonyms for abject

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

Examples from the Web for abject

Contemporary Examples of abject

Historical Examples of abject

British Dictionary definitions for abject


  1. utterly wretched or hopeless
  2. miserable; forlorn; dejected
  3. indicating humiliation; submissivean abject apology
  4. contemptible; despicable; servilean abject liar
Derived Formsabjection, nounabjectly, adverbabjectness, noun

Word Origin for abject

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

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