Straight from Latin, the word "odium" means "hatred, or ill will."
So, something odious is so bad (so disgusting or so offensive) that it deserves to be hated.
ODE ee us
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “an odious crime.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The crime was odious.”)
You might guess that "odious" is related to "odor," since whatever is odious just totally stinks, in a figurative sense. But the similarity is a coincidence. I'd suggest letting that connection help you remember the meaning of "odious," taking care not to apply "odious" too narrowly just to offensive smells.
How to use it:
This is such a strong word that it's best to reserve it for whatever truly disgusts you or deeply offends you, unless you're aiming for hyperbole or sarcasm, as in "the odious neon green of the rug."
Talk about odious actions, odious comments, odious smells, odious people, odious laws, odious traditions, odious points of view, odious racism, odious corruption, and so on.
The noun is both "odiousness" and "odium:" talk about moral odium, public odium, odium and ridicule, etc.
If you want to talk about a specific kind of hatred that you see a lot within a certain controversial area, then talk about "odium musicum" (for bitter fights about music,) "odium academicum" (for hateful disputes in academics,) "odium ethicum" (for nasty arguments about ethics,) and so on--but this is some pretty fancy terminology, so use it at your own risk.
I've heard that one of my aunts has a hilarious collection of dolls ranging from mildly creepy to downright odious, but I haven't seen them myself...and I'm not sure I'm ready to!
These days, I just click "unfriend" when someone spews odium and intolerance. (No place for hate!)
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "odious" means when you can explain it without saying "revolting or "horrible."
Think of something awful you heard or read about in the news, and fill in the blanks: "I can't believe the odiousness of _____ (who/that/which) _____."
Example: "I can't believe the odiousness of that CEO who suddenly raised the price of a pill that treats cancer from $13.50 to $750."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
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A Point Well Made:
Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “The soul is healed by being with children.”
1. The opposite of ODIOUS is
2. There's nothing more odious to a teacher than _____.
A. receiving unexpected donations for the classroom supplies
B. a roomful of sugared-up, bouncing-off-the-walls, yet eager first graders
C. being forced to use a boring, error-ridden, pre-scripted curriculum
Answers are below.
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Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
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