June 29, 2016
detest (verb)
\dih-TEST\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to dislike very strongly
How do you use it?
"I detest these parties," she sneered.
Are you a word wiz?

In which field of study do you think the word "detest" has its roots?

"Detest" stems ultimately to the Latin prefix "de-" and the verb "testari," which means "to call (someone) to witness or testify." When "de-" and "testari" combined, however, the new verb took on a new meaning as well: "to curse while calling a deity to witness." Of course, cursing and calling on a god to be your witness in a court shows how strong (and negative) your feelings on the subject are. The Latin verb "detestari" quickly gained an additional meaning of "to hate intensely," and it was this meaning that made its way into English. "Detest" was first used in this sense in the early 1500s.
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