What does abject mean?

Definitions for abject
ˈæb dʒɛkt, æbˈdʒɛktab·ject

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word abject.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. abject, low, low-down, miserable, scummy, scurvyadjective

    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"

  2. abjectadjective

    most unfortunate or miserable

    "the most abject slaves joined in the revolt"; "abject poverty"

  3. abject, unhopefuladjective

    showing utter resignation or hopelessness

    "abject surrender"

  4. abjectadjective

    showing humiliation or submissiveness

    "an abject apology"


  1. abjectadjective

    Humiliating; degrading; wretched; -- of situations; as, abject poverty.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ABJECTadjective

    Etymology: abjectus, Lat. thrown away as of no value.

    That rebellion
    Came like itself in base and abject routs,
    Led on by bloody youth goaded with rage,
    And countenanc’d by boys and beggary. William Shakespeare, Hen. IV.

    Honest men, who tell their sovereigns what they expect from them, and what obedience they shall be always ready to pay them, are not upon an equal foot with such base and abject flatterers; and are therefore always in danger of being the last in the royal favour. Joseph Addison, Whig Examiner.

    I was at first, as other beasts that graze
    The troden herb, of abject thoughts and low. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. ix. l. 571.

    The rarer thy example stands,
    By how much from the top of wond’rous glory,
    Strongest of mortal men,
    To lowest pitch of abject fortune thou art fall’n. John Milton, Samson Agonistes.

    We see man and woman in the highest innocence and perfection, and in the most abject state of guilt and infirmity. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 273.

    To what base ends, and by what abject ways,
    Are mortals urg’d thro’ sacred lust of praise? Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism.

    The rapine is so abject and profane,
    They not from trifles, nor from gods refrain. John Dryden, Juvenal, Sat. 8.

  2. Abjectnoun

    A man without hope; a man whose miseries are irretrievable.

    But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not. Psalm xxxv. 15.

  3. To Abjectverb

    To throw away. A word rarely used.

    Etymology: abjicio, Lat.


  1. abject

    Abjection is a concept in critical theory referring to becoming cast off and separated from norms and rules, especially on the scale of society and morality. The term has been explored in post-structuralism as that which inherently disturbs conventional identity and cultural concepts. Julia Kristeva explored an influential and formative overview of the concept in her 1980 work Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection, where she describes subjective horror (abjection) as the feeling when an individual experiences or is confronted by the sheer experience of what Kristeva calls one's typically repressed "corporeal reality", or an intrusion of the Real in the Symbolic Order.Kristeva's concept of abjection is used commonly to analyze popular cultural narratives of horror, and discriminatory behavior manifesting in misogyny, homophobia and genocide. The concept of abjection builds on the traditional psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, whose studies often narrowed in on the experience of the disintegration of personal distinctions, through neurosis in Freud and psychosis in Lacan.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Abjectadjective

    cast down; low-lying

  2. Abjectadjective

    sunk to a law condition; down in spirit or hope; degraded; servile; groveling; despicable; as, abject posture, fortune, thoughts

  3. Abjectadjective

    to cast off or down; hence, to abase; to degrade; to lower; to debase

  4. Abjectnoun

    a person in the lowest and most despicable condition; a castaway

  5. Etymology: [L. abjectus, p. p. of abjicere to throw away; ab + jacere to throw. See Jet a shooting forth.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Abject

    ab-jekt′, v.t. (obs.) to throw or cast down or away. [L. abjicĕre, -jectumab, away, jacĕre, to throw.]

  2. Abject

    ab′jekt, adj. cast away: mean: worthless: cowering: base.—n. an outcast.—ns. Abjec′tion, Ab′jectness, a mean or low state: baseness: degradation.—adv. Ab′jectly. [L. abjectus, cast away—ab, away, jacĕre, to throw.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of abject in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of abject in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of abject in a Sentence

  1. Chris Christie:

    But I think his presidency has been an abject failure, and a failure because of the decisions he’s made, and he has not governed the way he promised he would in the campaign. he said he was going to unite the country, but he has conceded the presidency to the left wing of his party.

  2. Steven McCraw:

    Those most affected should have been among the first to see it, this video provides horrifying evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary on May 24 was an abject failure.

  3. Nathan Runkle:

    The people of California clearly have the right to prohibit the sale of a product that is the result of abject animal abuse.

  4. Jean Baudrillard:

    Politicians -- power itself -- are abject because they merely embody the profound contempt people have for their own lives. One should be grateful to the politicians for accepting the abstractness of power, and ridding others of its burden. This inevitably kills them but they get their revenge by passing onto others the corpse of power.


    one thing about this pandemic is sure-it has brought the hidden injustices and inequities in a racially flawed system in america of the abject conditions of the poor to the rich man's door. America cannot hide from it's hate and racially motivated wickedness against black people. Black people in america must now-wise up- and seek their own destiny. Sufferings has been -much too long!

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"abject." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/abject>.

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    a small restaurant serving beer and wine as well as food; usually cheap
    • A. nitrile
    • B. brasserie
    • C. snap
    • D. encumbrance

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