feeling of utter dislike or loathing

Abhorrence is extreme aversion or detestation; the feeling of utter dislike.


  • The self-same thing they will abhor
    One way, and long another for.
  • We not only do not believe that any are foreordained to evil by the power of God, but even state with utter abhorrence that if there are those who want to believe so evil a thing, they are anathema.
    • Bishops of the Council of Orange (A.D. 529), rejecting the doctrine that God creates some men in order to damn them.
  • Here was, perhaps, only another instance of mankind's abhorrence of actualities; and man's quaint dislike of facing reality was here disguised as a high moral principle.
  • I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and incur my own abhorrence.
    • Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845), Chapter 5.
  • What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories.
  • The chaste severity of the fathers in whatever related to the commerce of the two sexes flowed from the same principle—their abhorrence of every enjoyment which might gratify the sensual and degrade the spiritual nature of man.
  • He who has ever turned with abhorrence from the skeleton of a beast which has been picked whole by birds or vermin, must confess that habit alone could have enabled him to endure the sight of the mangled bones and flesh of a dead carcase which every day cover his table.
  • To a clergyman lying under a vow of chastity any act of sex is immoral, but his abhorrence of it naturally increases in proportion as it looks safe and is correspondingly tempting. As a prudent man, he is not much disturbed by incitations which carry their obvious and certain penalties; what shakes him is the enticement bare of any probable secular retribution. Ergo, the worst and damndest indulgence is that which goes unwhipped. So he teaches that it is no sin for a woman to bear a child to a drunken and worthless husband, even though she may believe with sound reason that it will be diseased and miserable all its life, but if she resorts to any mechanical or chemical device, however harmless, to prevent its birth, she is doomed by his penology to roast in Hell forever, along with the assassin of orphans and the scoundrel who forgets his Easter duty.
  • Boils and plagues
    Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
    Further than seen.
  • Satan had his companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred.
  • I am content to suffer alone while my sufferings shall endure; when I die, I am well satisfied that abhorrence and opprobrium should load my memory.
  • There he lies, white and cold in death. You hate me, but your abhorrence cannot equal that with which I regard myself.
  • The only perfect and genuine republic is that which comprehends every living being. Those distinctions which have been artificially set up, of nations, societies, families, and religions, are only general names, expressing the abhorrence and contempt with which men blindly consider their fellowmen.
  • Make the abhorrent eye
    Roll back and close.
  • Men in general are so constituted that there is nothing they will endure with so little patience as that views which they believe to be true should be counted crimes against the laws. … Under such circumstances they do not think it disgraceful, but most honorable, to hold the laws in abhorrence, and to refrain from no action against the government.
    • Baruch Spinoza, Theological-Political Treatise (1670), Chapter 20, That In a Free State Every Man May Think What He Likes, and Say What He Thinks.
  • If, in proportion as our minds are enlarged, our hearts purified, and our consciences cultivated, our abhorrence of wrong and aversion to it increases, what must be the moral indignation of the infinite and holy God against wrong-doers?
    • Edward Thompson, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 552.
  • It seemed, indeed, to Phineas that as Mrs. Low was buckled up in such triple armour that she feared nothing, she might have been less loud in expression her abhorrence of the enemies of the Church. If she feared nothing, why should she scream so loudly?