Abject vs object

Abject is an adjective that refers to a degrading condition, of the most wretched degree, hopeless, lacking self-respect. The adverb is abjectly, the nouns are abjectness and abjection. Abject first appears in the English language in the fifteenth century meaning cast off, rejected. Abject comes from the Latin word abiectus, which is the past participle of abicere, meaning to throw away, cast off, degrade, humble, lower.

Object, when used as a noun, means a tangible, visible thing which one may touch. Object may also mean a goal. When used as a noun, the first syllable of OBject is stressed. The use of object as a noun first appears in the late fourteenth century to mean tangible thing, something perceived or presented to the senses, coming from the Medieval Latin objectum, which means thing put before. Object is sometimes used as a verb meaning to disagree with something. Related words are objects, objected, objecting, objector and objection. When used as a verb, the second syllable of obJECT is stressed. The first use of object as a verb occurs in about 1400, to mean to bring forward in opposition. This iteration of object comes from the Latin obiectus, the past participle of obiectare, meaning to cite as grounds for disapproval, set against, oppose, to put or throw before or against.


As the nation stood aghast and wondered helpless whether the forces that wrought a new beginning for Lanka on January 8 had only been able to realise a false dawn, Maithripala’s abject surrender seemed the end of the road. (The Sunday Times Sri Lanka)

By the time Catherine exits “Queen of Earth,” her frown has turned upside down and a grimace of abject misery has transformed into a vision of manic happiness as if she had traded in her tragedy mask for a comedy one. (The New York Times)

Jacqui Ansin’s Maserati had to be towed after hitting a mystery object that she believes fell on to the motorway in Auckland yesterday. (The New Zealand Herald)

Group says coworker objected to Muslim flight attendant (The Detroit News)


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