Definition of abject in English:

abject

adjective

  • 1(of something bad) experienced or present to the maximum degree.

    ‘his letter plunged her into abject misery’
    ‘abject poverty’
    • ‘The abject misery, the clearest glimpse of absolute evil, is almost impossible to describe.’
    • ‘The free market economy did not alleviate the abject misery of the poor.’
    • ‘Behind the colourless doors of these homes were people who still live in the misery of abject poverty.’
    • ‘The abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable.’
    • ‘We cannot claim to be enjoying 15 years of Independence, while some groups live in ‘slavery’, misery and abject poverty.’
    • ‘I mean, when I think of Cambodia in the 1970s, I think abject misery, suffering and genocide on a Stalin-like scale.’
    • ‘Grant did not affect the mock shock of someone who has experienced abject poverty first-hand for the first time on any of her trips.’
    • ‘People are having fun in this town, it's not all poverty and abject misery.’
    • ‘A small exploitative class of intermediaries benefited enormously from the neocolonial relationship, but the masses were sunk in abject poverty and misery.’
    • ‘Thus imagine the extent to which, for three quarters of the planet's population, most of whom live in abject and dire poverty, colonialism remains an even more tangible presence.’
    • ‘The setting is one of abject poverty and misery, yet the upbeat caption tells us that even victims of disaster need a good shoeshine.’
    • ‘And now here I was, sitting next to the girl who had petrified me for most of my school years, and watching how abject misery had smudged her beauty.’
    • ‘After all, there are only two ways to divert the attention of the international community from the more pressing and immediate problems of abject hunger and poverty.’
    • ‘He looked about at all the imitations of himself, like a ring of mirrors each showing California in a state of abject want.’
    • ‘Cassandra, her older sister Rose and her younger brother Thomas are living in poverty even more abject than the Bastables, in a broken - down castle.’
    • ‘Just let me fall into bed and leave me to my abject misery.’
    • ‘However with no middle class, the vast bulk of its people are living in abject and unsustainable poverty.’
    • ‘I'm usually a sucker for full-on bad taste, but this was just so abject.’
    1. 1.1 (of a situation or condition) extremely unpleasant and degrading.
      ‘the abject condition of the peasants’
      • ‘I remember Mississippi tin shacks - those were abject conditions.’
      • ‘Few will dispute that a person in abject condition suffers a profound affront to his sense of dignity and intrinsic worth.’
      • ‘On shore, the housing conditions were abject.’
      • ‘Indeed, they were intended to insult and humiliate with reference to such an abject condition.’
      • ‘A lot has been written about the abject state of health in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world.’
      • ‘One never knows why these people are thrown into a society where there is no development and these people are living in horrendous conditions of abject poverty.’
      • ‘Most live in conditions so abject that there is little to distinguish them from the most wretched chattel slaves of the past.’
      • ‘He was compelled to comment on the causes of the tragedy and the abject conditions that prevailed on the reservation.’
      • ‘She saw firsthand the abject conditions of the working people there.’
      • ‘He said that HIV does cause AIDS but there are also other causes such as abject social conditions.’
      wretched, miserable, hopeless, pathetic, pitiful, pitiable, piteous, stark, sorry, forlorn, woeful, lamentable, degrading, appalling, atrocious, awful
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  • 2(of a person or their behaviour) completely without pride or dignity; self-abasing.

    ‘an abject apology’
    • ‘This enhances our shock when the abject figure of Winston is finally revealed, stripped of all humanity.’
    • ‘I answered, staggered at this abject rudeness.’
    • ‘Since they are abject human beings, he implies, he does not have to engage them at that level.’
    • ‘Surely no financial inducement can be worth such abject loss of dignity.’
    • ‘I returned from Siberia to a mountain of furious letters to which I could only write abject apologies.’
    • ‘However, this is actually an abject admission of failure.’
    • ‘That would do a whole lot more for civilised and democratic behaviour than abject capitulation to these self-evident hypocrites.’
    • ‘Fine: then what is called for now is not triumphalism and gloating, but an abject apology.’
    • ‘Now it was back to the bad old days of abject surrender.’
    • ‘I compose abject apologies in my head and fill out the registration form.’
    • ‘My behaviour, when I am conducting perfectly legitimate activity such as registering an insurance claim, is one of abject apology.’
    • ‘Isn't humiliation on your own TV network, followed by an abject apology, enough?’
    • ‘From a position of optimism generated by a highly impressive presentation, potential winners had suddenly become abject losers, all the long hours of campaigning reduced to nothing.’
    • ‘Are parallels to the anarchic sensibilities of our own abject artists valid?’
    • ‘Apologies, official, abject, routinely demanded, and formally offered, are considered not just a right but a requirement.’
    • ‘The thrust of both books is his failure to protect the national interests of Britain and his abject subservience to the United States.’
    • ‘The regime controlled every aspect of life and reduced everyone to the level of abject obedience through terror.’
    • ‘It is behaviour of such abject venality as to be almost beneath contempt.’
    • ‘If so, I would have to address it as men have always done: by persistence, alternating reasoned argument with abject pleas and fawning adulation.’
    • ‘On the few occasions I was driven to use such chastisement, it felt like an abject admission of parental failure.’
    obsequious, grovelling, crawling, creeping, fawning, toadyish, servile, cringing, snivelling, ingratiating, toadying, sycophantic, submissive, craven, humiliating
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Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘rejected’): from Latin abjectus, past participle of abicere ‘reject’, from ab- ‘away’ + jacere ‘to throw’.

Pronunciation

abject

/ˈabdʒɛkt/