verb (used with object)

to feel abhorrence of; hate; dislike intensely.

Origin of detest

1525–35; < Middle French detester < Latin dētestārī to call down a curse upon, loathe, equivalent to dē- de- + testārī to bear witness; see testate
Related formsde·test·er, nounun·de·test·ed, adjectiveun·de·test·ing, adjective

Synonyms for detest

Antonyms for detest Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for detest

despise, abhor, loathe, repudiate, abominate, reject, execrate

Examples from the Web for detest

Contemporary Examples of detest

Historical Examples of detest

  • If there's one sort of man I detest more than another, it's a man who is sorry for himself.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Never had it seemed to her possible she could detest him as she did now.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • I detest the reflection that I would have sacrificed your happiness to mine.

  • That there are people whom it is necessary to detest without compromise.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • I adore having people come to see me, and I detest going to see them.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for detest



(tr) to dislike intensely; loathe
Derived Formsdetester, noun

Word Origin for detest

C16: from Latin dētestārī to curse (while invoking a god as witness), from de- + testārī to bear witness, from testis a witness
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 detest

early 15c., "to curse, to call God to witness and abhor," from Middle French détester, from Latin detestari "to curse, execrate, abominate, express abhorrence for," literally "denounce with one's testimony," from de- "from, down" (see de-) + testari "be a witness," from testis "witness" (see testament). Related: Detested; detesting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper