1. utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or wretched: abject poverty.
  2. contemptible; despicable; base-spirited: an abject coward.
  3. shamelessly servile; slavish.
  4. Obsolete. cast aside.


  1. utterly wretched or hopeless
  2. miserable; forlorn; dejected
  3. indicating humiliation; submissivean abject apology
  4. contemptible; despicable; servilean abject liar

early 15c., “cast off, rejected,” from Latin abiectus, past participle of abicere “to throw away, cast off; degrade, humble, lower,” from ab- “away, off” (see ab-) + iacere “to throw” (past participle iactus; see jet (v.)). Figurative sense of “downcast, brought low” first attested 1510s. Related: Abjectly; abjectness.

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