Definition of detestation in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Intense dislike.

    ‘Wordsworth's detestation of aristocracy’
    • ‘It is the very things upon which the Left most congratulates itself that inspire the deepest detestation of Islamic extremists.’
    • ‘Authentic feelings, in much shorter supply on the campaign trail, tend to be limited to two - a hunger for victory, and bitter detestation of anyone who might get in the way.’
    • ‘Yesterday's set of exquisitely correct opinions concluded with a statement about his gut-wrenching detestation of war.’
    • ‘Sometimes American policy has been inferior to that of many French people - one might instance Roosevelt's detestation of de Gaulle.’
    • ‘He's balanced in his acknowledgement of the world's brutality and his detestation of its cruelty.’
    • ‘But it seems to me that there might be something else at work as well, the residue of a deeper and much older detestation.’
    • ‘And they have lately become very vocal about their detestation of ordinary people.’
    • ‘But today we're nonplused by the phenomenon that a good number of students, rather than enjoying the sublime happiness supposed to be provided by education, do not hide their detestation for it.’
    • ‘And now, when many of its previous supporters have abandoned it in favour of implied rights theory, I find myself hating it just as much as ever, with a cold, dismissive detestation.’
    • ‘His loathing of Moguls surpassed even his detestation of Uzbeks, Shias, Afghans and assorted infidels.’
    • ‘With a deep and abiding detestation of competitive sports, he was naturally bookish.’
    • ‘He cannot believe why a human being would show so much detestation for another human being, who has not even spoken or looked at him.’
    • ‘She had not even spoken a word, and yet, Ashley could not help her intense feelings of detestation for her.’
    • ‘His personal history is inspiring, as is his intellectual brilliance, knowledge of and detestation of fascism, communism and morally repugnant capitalism.’
    • ‘By contrast, the Trades Union Congress, driven by detestation for fascism, was more robust.’
    • ‘Ironically, the events of 9/11 and their sequel have catalysed, rather than retarded, the hardening of mutual distrust into mutual detestation.’
    • ‘Celebrate our Australianness by showing our usual mistrustful, self-deprecating, egalitarian, good-natured detestation of all such symbols of overt self-glorification.’
    • ‘But if you go downtown, Wolf, the detestation of what you see in these pictures is still so evident and it will be so for quite some time.’
    • ‘She is a poet whose poetic stimuli most often arise from friendship and, in a few striking cases, detestation.’
    • ‘Behind this mentality lies the progressive lobby's detestation of nationhood and Orwellian aspiration to world government.’
    hatred, loathing, abhorrence, execration, revulsion, abomination, disgust, repugnance, horror, antipathy, odium, aversion, hostility, animosity, enmity, dislike, distaste, disdain, contempt
    repellence, repellency
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic [count noun]A detested person or thing.
      ‘he is the detestation of the neighbourhood’
      • ‘Now a game of chess was the special delight of Miss Broadus; and as it was the detestation of her sister Miss Juliana, the delight was seldom realized.’
      • ‘They are the detestation of the Trout bottom-angler, constantly nibbling away his bait, and tantalising him with vain hopes of a bite.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin detestatio(n-), from the verb detestari (see detest).