Worthy of hatred or repulsion; despicable


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



hateful, loathsome, detestable, abhorrent, odious


commendable, likable, lovable, admirable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective detestable
Adverb detestably

Example Sentences

  • The villain’s actions were detestable, as he ruthlessly manipulated and harmed innocent people for his own gain.

  • The smell emanating from the garbage can was so detestable that it made everyone nearby cover their noses.

  • Her behavior towards her subordinates was detestable, constantly belittling and demeaning them for no reason.

  • The politician’s corrupt practices and blatant disregard for the welfare of the people were deemed detestable by the public.


The word “detestable” is an adjective that describes something or someone deserving intense dislike, disgust, or abhorrence. Its origin can be traced back to the Latin term “detestabilis,” derived from the verb “detestari,” meaning “to curse” or “to denounce.” The word has evolved to convey a strong sense of loathing or extreme aversion.

The prefix “de-” in “detestable” intensifies the meaning by denoting a complete or extreme quality. The root word “test” comes from the Latin word “testari,” meaning “to bear witness” or “to testify.” Thus, “detestable” implies something that is so abhorrent or loathsome that it provokes a strong negative reaction or revulsion.

The usage of “detestable” relates to actions, behaviors, or qualities that are considered deeply repugnant, morally objectionable, or offensive. It implies that a person or thing is deserving of strong disapproval, and may be seen as being morally or ethically wrong. The word is often used in a negative context, indicating a lack of respect or consideration. A person or thing that is described as “detestable” may be seen as being unethical, unjust, or wicked, and is not necessarily viewed as being a good or acceptable thing. In some contexts, the term may be used more broadly to describe anything that is worthy of hatred or repulsion.

Variations of the word “detestable” include the noun form “detestability,” referring to the quality or state of being detestable, and the adverb form “detestably,” describing actions or behaviors that are characteristic of detestability.

Understanding the history and usage of “detestable” reminds us of the importance of maintaining moral compass and rejecting behavior that is vile, repugnant, or morally bankrupt. It reinforces the values of compassion, empathy, and integrity in our interactions with others, while encouraging us to stand against actions or attitudes that harm or exploit others.