• abomination •
ê-bah-mê-nay-shên • Hear it!
Part of Speech: Noun
Meaning: 1. (Mass noun) Extreme disgust, abhorrence, loathing, anathema. 2. (Count noun) That which causes extreme disgust, abhorrence, loathing; anathema.
Notes: Abomination is the action noun of the verb abominate "abhor intensely". It comes with a personal noun, abominator. It also brings along an adjective, abominable, which means "to be abominated" or just "very bad or unpleasant", as 'abominable weather'
In Play: Even though this word is used far less in its first sense, that sense is still available: "The world's abomination for wars does not seem to impede them in any way." The second sense occurs far and away more often: "Putin quickly became an abomination for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in world opinion."
Word History: Today's Good Word was taken (without permission) from Old French abominacion "abomination", which Old French inherited from Latin abominatio(n) "abomination", the noun from abominare "to avoid like an ill omen". Latin constructed its word from ab "(away) from" + omin-, the combining form of omen "omen, foreboding". The preposition-prefix ab was inherited by Latin from PIE apo "off, away", source also of Sanskrit apa "away from", Greek apo "off, away from", Old English af "away from", which ended up in Modern English as of and off. Other words from the same PIE source include German ab "off of, away from", Dutch af "off, down (from)", Welsh o "of", Irish ó "away, off", and Breton a "of". The origin of omen remains a complete mystery. (It would be a moderate abomination to not thank Joakim Larsson of Sweden for suggesting today's unfortunately still topical Good Word.)
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