abject

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj abject showing humiliation or submissiveness "an abject apology"
    • adj abject of the most contemptible kind "abject cowardice","a low stunt to pull","a low-down sneak","his miserable treatment of his family","You miserable skunk!","a scummy rabble","a scurvy trick"
    • adj abject most unfortunate or miserable "the most abject slaves joined in the revolt","abject poverty"
    • adj abject showing utter resignation or hopelessness "abject surrender"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Abject ăb"jĕkt A person in the lowest and most despicable condition; a castaway. "Shall these abjects , these victims, these outcasts, know any thing of pleasure?"
    • abject Cast down; low-lying. "From the safe shore their floating carcasses
      And broken chariot wheels; so thick bestrown Abject and lost lay these, covering the flood."
    • abject Degraded; servile; groveling; despicable; as, abject posture, fortune, thoughts. "Base and abject flatterers.""An abject liar.""And banish hence these abject , lowly dreams."
    • abject Humiliating; degrading; wretched; -- of situations; as, abject poverty.
    • abject Sunk to a low condition; down in spirit or hope; miserable; -- of persons.
    • v. t Abject ăb*jĕkt" To cast off or down; hence, to abase; to degrade; to lower; to debase.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • abject Cast aside; cast away; abjected.
    • abject Low in condition or in estimation; utterly humiliating or disheartening; so low as to be hopeless: as, abject poverty, disgrace, or servitude.
    • abject Low in kind or character; mean; despicable; servile; groveling.
    • abject Synonyms Abject, Low, Mean, Groveling, debased, despicable, degraded, degenerate, wretched, menial, worthless, beggarly. (See list under low.) Abject, low, and mean may have essentially the same meaning, but low is more often used with respect to nature, condition, or rank; mean, to character or conduct; abject, to spirit. Groveling has the vividness of figurative use; it represents natural disposition toward what is low and base. Low is generally stronger than mean, conformably to the original senses of the two words.
    • n abject A person who is abjectly base, servile, or dependent; a caitiff or menial.
    • abject To throw away; cast off or out.
    • abject To make abject; humiliate; degrade.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Abject ab-jekt′ (obs.) to throw or cast down or away.
    • adj Abject ab′jekt cast away: mean: worthless: cowering: base
    • n Abject an outcast
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Quotations

  • Epictetus
    Epictetus
    “Let death be daily before your eyes, and you will never entertain any abject thought, nor too eagerly covet anything.”
  • Oliver Goldsmith
    Oliver%20Goldsmith
    “Friendship is a disinterested commerce between equals; love, an abject intercourse between tyrants and slaves.”
  • Baruch (Benedict de) Spinoza
    Baruch%20%28Benedict%20de%29%20Spinoza
    “Those who are believed to be most abject and humble are usually most ambitious and envious.”
  • Jean Baudrillard
    Jean%20Baudrillard
    “The abjection of our political situation is the only true challenge today. Only facing up to this situation in all its desperation can help us get out of it.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    H.%20L.%20Mencken
    “Nothing is so abject and pathetic as a politician who has lost his job, save only a retired stud-horse.”
  • Jean Baudrillard
    Jean%20Baudrillard
    “In the same way that we need statesmen to spare us the abjection of exercising power, we need scholars to spare us the abjection of learning.”

Idioms

Abject lesson - (India) An abject lesson serves as a warning to others. (In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. abjectus, p. p. of abjicere, to throw away; ab, + jacere, to throw. See Jet a shooting forth

Usage

In literature:

Thus the citizens were speedily brought into abject submission.
"The Empire of Russia" by John S. C. Abbott
His self-possession was gone; he trembled like the most abject coward.
"The Fatal Glove" by Clara Augusta Jones Trask
I had supposed this was never really done, but only a very low obeisance made; the act seemed to me disgustingly abject.
"At Home And Abroad" by Margaret Fuller Ossoli
Here is a little abject village, and the people look as abject as the village.
"The Women of the Arabs" by Henry Harris Jessup
It was the only punishment, but truly a severe one, for the abject wretches who have not German hearts in their bosoms.
"Frederic Shoberl Narrative of the Most Remarkable Events Which Occurred In and Near Leipzig" by Frederic Shoberl (1775-1853)
PERVERSE DESPOTS, AS WELL AS ABJECT AND UNHAPPY SUBJECTS.
"Superstition In All Ages (1732)" by Jean Meslier
He had never before conceived the abject depths to which a human being might sink in contentment with chains.
"The Victim" by Thomas Dixon
Then Pete, an abject, whining wretch, was ushered in, and his story, when dragged out by the roots, was worst of all.
"A Daughter of the Sioux" by Charles King
Horses neighed in terror more abject than that which filled the hearts of men.
"The Southerner" by Thomas Dixon
How long Joyce stood clinging to the vine in abject terror, she was never to know.
"Joyce of the North Woods" by Harriet T. Comstock
They are offered by all people from the mere inner force of abject egotism.
"History of Rationalism Embracing a Survey of the Present State of Protestant Theology" by John F. Hurst
Sick with fear, she was now constrained to stare in abject helplessness.
"Scottish Ghost Stories" by Elliott O'Donnell
It requires the most abject concessions.
"The Tragic Muse" by Henry James
He was so abject that the young man could only strike him with his open hand.
"Wayside Courtships" by Hamlin Garland
No feeling of pity at the abject terror of the wretched man crossed him.
"Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks" by Bracebridge Hemyng
I know that most of my male, and many of my female readers, will think my conduct throughout pusillanimous or abject.
"Rattlin the Reefer" by Edward Howard
I demand a full explanation and an abject apology.
"Some Everyday Folk and Dawn" by Miles Franklin
Indeed, as years advanced, he became a more and more obedient father, and was obviously on the high road to abject slavery.
"Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished" by R.M. Ballantyne
Thus suddenly was Mrs Durby bereft of her treasure and thrown into abject despair.
"The Iron Horse" by R.M. Ballantyne
She felt abjectly humble in the presence of this great sacrifice.
"Rose O'Paradise" by Grace Miller White
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In poetry:

So, pausing in my lonely round,
And all unseen of her,
I stand uncovered--her profound
And abject worshipper.
"Some Songs After Master Singers" by James Whitcomb Riley
And in the winter he tries to provide
Hot dinners for the poor children of Dundee,
Who are starving with hunger no doubt,
And in the most abject poverty.
"To Mr James Scrymgeour, Dundee" by William Topaz McGonagall
Hatred of that abject slave,
Earth, was in each chieftain's heart.
Earth has got him, whom God gave,
Earth may sing, and earth shall smart!
Attila, my Attila!
"The Nuptials Of Attila" by George Meredith
Behold! we come with emulation fierce
To your severe command,
In prompt obedience let us rise to heaven;
Let us with wrath assail
This human enemy of abject clay.
"Adam: A Sacred Drama. Act 1. " by William Cowper
Servants and abjects flout me; they are wittie:
Now prophesies who strikes thee, is their dittie.
So they in me denie themselves all pitie:
Was ever grief like mine?
"The Sacrifice" by George Herbert
Yes, yes, I own what 'tis in vain to hide,
I love thee more than language can express;
Thou'st conquer'd apathy and giant pride;
And abject wretches, they the conqu'ror bless.
"The Confession" by Charlotte Dacre

In news:

Navy's biofuel experiment was abject failure.
The Obama Administration's Abject Failure on Transparency.
African Bishops Cite Problems That Leave People in ' Abject Poverty'.
Infinite, Abject Apologies: Wallace Begins to Wear Thin.
For-profit schools labeled ' abject failure'.
In "Lonely, I'm Not," the former star of TV's "That '70s Show" manages to make abject misery seem the only rational way to see the world.
Nightmare Alley begins with an extraordinary description of a freak-show geek—alcoholic and abject and the object of the voyeuristic crowd's gleeful disgust and derision—going about his work at a county fair.
All this points to the abject failure of the US policy in the last 30 years to " isolate " Iran.
"To get attention I used to bite and punch" is one of five abject phrases that Hugh Walton, using the sides of his paint-covered hands, spells out on a sheet of glass in the video Kung Fu (2007).
So how do we make sense out of this abject nonsense.
Some will have overcome abject adversity while others will have arrived on the Reed Arena stage after notable diversions.
The fishing industry is dying, leaving abject hopelessness in its wake.
Faced with such stark choices, the majority of Americans are running in abject fear to the Democrats.
'Abject Failure' Or Work In Progress.
Now that coach travel on airlines has deteriorated into abject misery, everyone is looking for a way to raise themselves above the fray, however briefly.
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In science:

Much scientific and technological research is devoted to the interests of wealthy countries and not to the interests of the billion or so who live in abject poverty.
Do We Need a Scientific Revolution?
Some billion people, as I have already mentioned, live in abject poverty, not much benefited by science.
Do We Need a Scientific Revolution?
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