Definition of opprobrium in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Harsh criticism or censure:

    ‘the critical opprobrium generated by his films’
    • ‘As for why door blockers, pole huggers and other egregious violators of subway etiquette do not experience the same opprobrium, perhaps another study is in order.’
    • ‘And he will find himself targeted for opprobrium by others who presently portray him as a politician of Churchillian stature.’
    • ‘But we have the right, or even the duty, to greet many ideas (bigotries, superstitions) with opprobrium and ridicule.’
    • ‘But even if true, it is no necessary cause for opprobrium.’
    • ‘You get nothing back but opprobrium, abuse, and ostracism.’
    • ‘If all of us punish the new usage with ridicule and opprobrium, maybe we can reverse this loss to language.’
    • ‘The crime of genocide is singled out for special condemnation and opprobrium.’
    • ‘And having more than you can conceivably use of such objects is not met with opprobrium but with genial acceptance.’
    • ‘Freedom Party officials say he doesn't want the increased international opprobrium that would have fallen on him and Austria if he had won a second election outright.’
    • ‘Of course politicians choose to be public figures and they know it opens them up to the likelihood of public criticism and general opprobrium.’
    • ‘By the time of his death in 2001, of course, he had become a respected conventional artist, but in those days he had attracted much opprobrium by his contempt for the art world and his refusal to conform in any way to its conventions.’
    • ‘Terzani eventually earned the Chinese government's opprobrium and was expelled in 1984 for counter-revolutionary activities.’
    • ‘Despite his outsider status and the opprobrium it generates, he won't give in.’
    • ‘His follow-up picture Assassin premiered at Cannes in 1997 to particularly dismissive critical opprobrium and never earned a release in the UK.’
    • ‘Not coincidentally, perhaps, the British have more popular terms of opprobrium for their European neighbors than does any other people.’
    • ‘Liberalism does not mean withholding criticism, judgement, or moral opprobrium.’
    • ‘For some they are a source of middle-class opprobrium, while for others they are an art form, reflecting social, political and cultural change.’
    • ‘The fact that some of these constraints will manifest themselves as moral opprobrium and self-regulation makes it all the more worrying.’
    • ‘I have been heaped with some opprobrium by opponents of the project.’
    • ‘Indeed, stepping over the party line on this subject can result in ostracism, opprobrium and banishment to career Siberias.’
    vilification, abuse, vituperation, condemnation, criticism, censure, castigation, denunciation, defamation, denigration, disparagement, obloquy, derogation, slander, revilement, reviling, calumny, calumniation, execration, excoriation, lambasting, upbraiding, bad press, character assassination, attack, invective, libel, insults, aspersions
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    1. 1.1 Public disgrace arising from shameful conduct:
      ‘the opprobrium of being closely associated with gangsters’
      • ‘For now, officials trying to protect the public risk punishment and opprobrium, while terrorists trying to invade and destroy the country enjoy politically motivated protection.’
      • ‘Ransome-Kuti's sense of social responsibility overrode his apprehension of the social stigma and opprobrium that might affect his extended family.’
      • ‘Few white women were willing to risk the social opprobrium that open racial alliances might attract.’
      • ‘Social opprobrium also once greeted adopted children, stepchildren, and even the only child, not to mention the children of interracial couples.’
      • ‘Only my friends appreciate how utterly uncharacteristic this is, but I've long ceased worrying about public opprobrium.’
      • ‘Apparently fearful of public opprobrium, companies have been spurred to reduce toxic emissions on their own.’
      • ‘Free of bias, it may not subject us to personal embarrassment or opprobrium in public - as may a human agent of the state.’
      • ‘The most striking element of their behaviour has been a capacity to follow every bad decision with a worse one, combining wrong-headedness with moral weakness to create layer upon layer of confusion, embarrassment and opprobrium.’
      • ‘Cheryl doesn't have to worry about social opprobrium - she will be dead by lunchtime.’
      • ‘Given that secrecy is the norm, however, the public does not attach great opprobrium to those who engage in the practice.’
      • ‘‘I'm indifferent to opprobrium and disfavor,’ he says cheerfully.’
      • ‘After all, securing broad public approval or at least avoiding public opprobrium is crucial for their long term financial survival.’
      • ‘If a politician has been subject to public opprobrium they are legitimate targets for a media hate campaign.’
      • ‘Apart from all that social opprobrium, which existed particularly in those days, going through divorce involves a lot of reconstruction of identity and self-examination.’
      • ‘Fearing social opprobrium if it was known that she had two illegitimate children - she had been passing as Mrs Imlay in public - Mary persuaded Godwin to marry her.’
      • ‘His collecting and building did not earn him public opprobrium, as did George IV's, nor were his cultural activities seen as politically suspect, like Charles I's.’
      • ‘They are deeply uneasy with social instruments like shame or opprobrium, which smack of big-nosed authoritarianism in a new guise.’
      • ‘Few of the participants appeared to have coped with their relationship disappointments and social opprobrium without considerable mental effort.’
      • ‘Any hint of public opprobrium at ‘shacking up’ has vanished.’
      • ‘They may want to avoid some of the social opprobrium that they might still face as homosexuals.’
      disgrace, shame, dishonour, discredit, stigma, humiliation, loss of face, ignominy, odium, obloquy, disfavour, disrepute, ill repute, infamy, notoriety, scandal, stain
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    2. 1.2archaic [count noun] An occasion or cause of reproach or disgrace.


Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally infamy, from opprobrum, from ob- against + probrum disgraceful act.