Abhorrent vs aberrant

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Abhorrent means disgusting, horrifying, repugnant. Abhorrent is an adjective, the adverb form is abhorrently, the noun form is abhorrence, the verb forms are abhor, abhors, abhorred, abhorring. Abhorrent enters the English language in the early seventeenth century to mean in a position or condition to recoil, derived from the Latin word abhorentem.

Aberrant means varying from normal, deviating from the common standard, abnormal behavior. Aberrant is an adjective, the noun forms are aberrance, aberration and aberrancy, the adverb form is aberrantly. Aberrant comes from the Latin word aberrantem, which means to wander away, to go astray. To reiterate the difference, abhorrent behavior is repulsive, disgusting or horrifying, aberrant behavior is merely different, odd or strange.


The BJP should remember what all Indians know – whether we admit or not – that in this case Ms. Selja is not the enemy; the still rabid and extremely abhorrent caste system is! (The Indian Express)

Posters were sent earlier this month to a number of synagogues in Golders Green and Hendon, north-west London, denouncing the “abhorrent conduct” of Shmiel Kahan. (The Jewish Chronicle)

THE act of brutality by the police force is abhorrent, says the chairperson of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, Justice Mohamed Ajmeer. (The Fiji Times)

When Mara and Blanchett get together, you can feel the palpable chemistry between these characters who, for better, not worse, do what they can to achieve guarded happiness during a time in which Hollywood decreed that gays and lesbians must come to horrible ends for their moral transgressions, or at least have their behavior be condemned as aberrant. (The Chicago Daily Herald)

“Now if we see aberrant behaviour over the Christmas per­iod, we will call it out big-time in our quarterly petrol report and we may call it out in real time.” (The Australian)