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See more synonyms for detestable on Thesaurus.com
  1. deserving to be detested; abominable; hateful.
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Origin of detestable

1375–1425; late Middle English < Middle French < Latin dētestābilis, equivalent to dētest(ārī) to detest + -ābilis -able
Related formsde·test·a·bil·i·ty, de·test·a·ble·ness, nounde·test·a·bly, adverbun·de·test·a·bil·i·ty, nounun·de·test·a·ble, adjectiveun·de·test·a·ble·ness, nounun·de·test·a·bly, adverb


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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 detestable

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I am of opinion that pumping a leaky ship is the most detestable work in the world.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The man must have been a detestable hypocrite, I think, had he not shown his vexation.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Kill me if thou wilt, detestable Huron; I will go no further.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • The rest of this detestable thought was expressed by a hideous smile.

    The Black Tulip

    Alexandre Dumas (Pere)

  • She was blameless, of course, but he was detestable beyond all count.

British Dictionary definitions for detestable


  1. being or deserving to be abhorred or detested; abominable; odious
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Derived Formsdetestability or detestableness, noundetestably, 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

Word Origin and History for detestable


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper