You searched for: “abject
abject (AB jekt", ab JEKT) (adjective), more abject, most abject
1. Pertaining to the most contemptible kind, despicable; a situation that is miserable or hopeless: The soldier deserted like an abject coward.

Walter's aunt was in an abject mood brought on by the secret knowledge that her hero was in fact an abject coward with feet of clay.

The old couple have been living in abject poverty since their pensions were reduced.

2. Of the most miserable kind, wretched; the absolute worst or most extreme: Since the flood, Kristin's friends have been living in an abject situation as they try to clean up the mud in their house, get rid of and replace furniture that can no longer be used, and fix other damages done to their house.

Tracie and her two children have been trying to survive in her old car for over a month under the most abject conditions; including being without toilet facilities, not having enough food or water, etc., etc.

3. Etymology: a transition from the literal to the figurative, and from cause to effect, has occurred in the meaning of abject. ab-, meaning "off, away", and jacere, meaning "to throw", were combined in Latin to form abjicere, "to throw away", with a past participle abjectus, "thrown away".

Directly from this source came the English word abject, which was formerly not only an adjective but also a verb meaning "to cast off, to throw down", and with a figurative application, "to degrade".

It is this latter meaning that survives in the Modern English adjective abject which characterizes someone who has been cast off or degraded and who is therefore low in condition or cast down in spirit.

—Compiled from information located in Picturesque Word Origins;
G. & C. Merriam Company; Springfield, Massachusetts; 1933; pages 4 and 5.
Sunk to a low condition, cast down in spirit.
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Miserable, wretched, terrible situation.
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Miserable, wretched, cast down in spirit.
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