(of a situation or condition) extremely bad, unpleasant, and degrading.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



miserable, wretched, pitiful, deplorable, pathetic, low, degraded, abysmal, hopeless.


Excellent, glorious, honorable, magnificent, superb, elevated, exalted, great, admirable.

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun None
Verb None
Adjective abject
Adverb abjectly

Example Sentences

  • The abject poverty of the village was evident from the dilapidated houses and malnourished children.

  • After losing the championship match, the team felt abject despair and disappointment.

  • The soldiers were living in abject conditions, with no access to basic necessities like food and water.

  • He felt abject shame and guilt after betraying his closest friend.


The term ‘abject’ is used to describe a situation or condition that is extremely bad, unpleasant, and degrading. It can be used in a variety of contexts to convey the severity of the situation, whether it is physical or emotional. The word comes from the Latin word, “abjectus”. It is an adjective that describes the state of something or someone, and is often used to convey a sense of hopelessness or despair.

‘Abject’ can be used with various prefixes and suffixes to convey different shades of meaning. For example, the prefix “a-” or “an-” means “not” or “without”, so “abject” in this case would mean “without dignity” or “not fit for human existence”. Suffixes like “-ly” or “-ness” can be added to form adverbs or nouns respectively. For example, “abjectly” means “totally lacking in pride or dignity”, while “abjectness” means “the state of being completely hopeless or degraded”.

Variations of this word include “abjection”, meaning intensely unpleasant or shameful, and “abjectedly”, meaning in a manner that expresses extreme humiliation or despair. The root of the word, “ject”, means to throw, so the term can also be seen as referring to throwing aside or throwing away one’s dignity or self-respect.

In literature and philosophy, the term has been used to describe the lowest level of human experience, such as extreme poverty, physical pain, or emotional suffering. In some contexts, it can also be used to describe someone who has been completely defeated or humiliated. Overall, “abject” is a powerful and resonant word that vividly conveys a sense of utter degradation and hopelessness.