\ \ [16] Latin dētestārī, source of detest, meant ‘denounce’. It was a compound verb formed from the pejorative prefix - and testārībear witness’. This in turn was a derivative of testiswitness’, source of English testify, testimony, and testicle. It retained its original sense of ‘cursing’ or ‘execration’ when first borrowed into English, but by the 18th century this had weakened from open denunciation to internal ‘loathing’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


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  • Detest — De*test , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Detested}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Detesting}.] [L. detestare, detestatum, and detestari, to curse while calling a deity to witness, to execrate, detest; de + testari to be a witness, testify, testis a witness: cf. F. d[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • detest — [dē test′, ditest′] vt. [Fr détester < L detestari, to curse by calling the gods to witness, execrate, detest < de , down + testari, to witness < testis, a witness: see TESTIFY] to dislike intensely; hate; abhor SYN. HATE detester n …   English World dictionary

  • detest — index contemn, disdain, reject, renounce Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • detest — early 15c., to curse, to call God to witness and abhor, from M.Fr. détester, from L. detestari to curse, execrate, abominate, express abhorrence for, lit. denounce with one s testimony, from de from, down (see DE (Cf. de )) + testari be a witness …   Etymology dictionary

  • detest — *hate, abhor, abominate, loathe Analogous words: *despise, contemn, scorn, disdain: spurn, repudiate, reject (see DECLINE vb) Antonyms: adore (sense 2) Contrasted words: love, *like, dote, fancy, relish: cherish, prize, treasure, value,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • detest — [v] hate; feel disgust toward abhor, abominate, be allergic to, despise, dislike intensely, down on, execrate, feel aversion toward, feel hostility toward, feel repugnance toward, have no use for*, loathe, recoil from, reject, repudiate; concept… …   New thesaurus

  • detest — ► VERB ▪ dislike intensely. ORIGIN Latin detestari denounce, abhor , from testari witness …   English terms dictionary

  • detest — v. 1) (G) he detests working 2) (K) we detest his constantly lying * * * [dɪ test] (G) he detests working (K) we detest his constantly lying …   Combinatory dictionary

  • detest — UK [dɪˈtest] / US verb [transitive] Word forms detest : present tense I/you/we/they detest he/she/it detests present participle detesting past tense detested past participle detested to hate someone or something …   English dictionary

  • detest — verb To dislike intensely I detest snakes. See Also: detestable, detestation …   Wiktionary

  • detest — [16] Latin dētestārī, source of detest, meant ‘denounce’. It was a compound verb formed from the pejorative prefix dē and testārī ‘bear witness’. This in turn was a derivative of testis ‘witness’, source of English testify, testimony, and… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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