\ \ [14] The Latin original of this word meant ‘shun as an evil omen’. The prefix ab- ‘away’ was added to ōmen (source of English omen) to produce the verb abōminārī.
\ \ From this was created the adjective abōminābilis, which reached English via Old French. From the 14th to the 17th century there was a general misapprehension that abominable was derived from Latin ab hominemaway from man’, hence ‘beastly, unnatural’. This piece of fanciful folk etymology not only perpetuated the erroneous spelling abhominable throughout this period, but also seems to have contributed significantly to making the adjective much more strongly condemnatory.
\ \ Cf.OMEN

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • abominable — [ abɔminabl ] adj. • XIIe; lat. abominabilis « à repousser comme mauvais présage » 1 ♦ Qui inspire de l horreur. ⇒ affreux, atroce, horrible, monstrueux. « Ses crimes sont abominables » (France). 2 ♦ Par ext. (XIIIe) Très mauvais. ⇒ détestable,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • abominable — ABOMINABLE. Adj. de tout genre. Execrable, détestable, qui est en horreur. Crime abominable. un homme abominable. Il se dit par exageration de tout ce qui est tres mauvais en son genre. Cette comédie, cette musique est abominable. cela a un goust …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • abominable — adjetivo 1. (antepuesto / pospuesto) Que merece ser abominado o condenado: Todavía no se ha encontrado a los responsables de este abominable crimen. Tu comportamiento fue abominable, repugnante, detestable …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • abominable — [ə bäm′ə nə bəl] adj. [ME abhominable (sp. infl. by folk etym. deriv. < L ab homine, away from man, inhuman) < OFr abominable < L abominabilis < abominari: see ABOMINATE] 1. nasty and disgusting; vile; loathsome 2. highly unpleasant;… …   English World dictionary

  • Abominable — A*bom i*na*ble, a. [F. abominable. L. abominalis. See {Abominate}.] 1. Worthy of, or causing, abhorrence, as a thing of evil omen; odious in the utmost degree; very hateful; detestable; loathsome; execrable. [1913 Webster] 2. Excessive; large;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abominable — (adj.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. abominable (12c.) and directly from L.L. abominabilis deserving abhorrence, from stem of L. abominari deplore as an evil omen (see ABOMINATION (Cf. abomination)). Sometimes misdivided in earlier centuries as a… …   Etymology dictionary

  • abominable — index bad (offensive), contemptible, contemptuous, depraved, disgraceful, disreputable, heinous, i …   Law dictionary

  • abominable — detestable, *hateful, odious, abhorrent Analogous words: *execrable, damnable, accursed, cursed: scurvy, despicable, *contemptible, sorry: loathsome, repulsive, revolting, repugnant, *offensive: horrid, *horrible Antonyms: laudable (practices,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abominable — [adj] awful, detestable abhorrent, atrocious, awful, bad, base, beastly, contemptible, cursed, despicable, disgusting, foul, grim, grody*, gross*, hairy*, hateful, heinous, hellish, horrible, horrid, loathsome, lousy, nauseating, obnoxious,… …   New thesaurus

  • abominable — Abominable, com. penac. Detestabilis, Abominandus …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • abominable — (Del lat. abominabĭlis). 1. adj. Digno de ser abominado. 2. Que desagrada profundamente …   Diccionario de la lengua española

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