Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

execrable [ek-si-kruh-buhl]
Extremely bad or unpleasant; utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent.


I have had borscht (exceptional) and borscht (execrable) and borscht (middling). (Ed Cumming, Beyond borscht: a food tour of Russia, The Guardian, September 19)

The man who would be 007 turns 90 on Tuesday and has been off the silver screen since opting to retire in 2003 after appearing in the execrable The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. (Brent Lang, Happy birthday to the hottest Bond of them all, New York Post, August 20)

Philip had found nothing wrong with the food at all, and in fact had eaten it in large quantities with appetite and enjoyment, but he did not want to show himself a person of so little discrimination as to think a dinner good which another thought execrable. (W Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage )

You cannot, I imagine, have looked into his books: execrable I cannot but call them; for I am told that the third and fourth volumes are worse, if possible, than the two first, which, only, I have had the patience to run through. One extenuating circumstance attends his works, that they are too gross to be inflaming. (Samuel Richardson, Selected Letters of Samuel Richardson )


'Abominable, deserving of curses,' late 14c., from Old French execrable and directly from Latin execrabilis/exsecrabilis 'execrable, accursed,' from execrari/exsecrari 'to curse; to hate' (Online Etymology Dictionary)

He or she who is cursed faces execrable conditions. Keep this in mind to remember that execrable is a descendant of the Latin verb exsecrari, meaning 'to put under a curse.' Since its earliest uses in English, beginning in the 14th century, execrable has meant 'deserving or fit to be execrated,' the reference being to things so abominable as to be worthy of formal denouncement (such as 'execrable crimes'). But in the 19th century we lightened it up a bit, and our 'indescribably bad' sense has since been applied to everything from roads ('execrable London pavement' - Sir Walter Scott) to food ('The coffee in the station house was ... execrable.' - Clarence Day) to, inevitably, the weather ('the execrable weather of the past fortnight' - The (London) Evening Standard).(Merriam-Webster)

Tags: adjective, e, latin, old french, wordsmith: sallymn

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