hate and friends

gost'   Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:53 am GMT
Can you order these by strength? Are there any more synonyms you can think of?

abhor, abominate, despise, detest, dislike, execrate, hate, loathe
Guest   Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:31 pm GMT
I'd say

1. abhor
2. loathe
3. despise
4. hate
5. detest
6. dislike

abominate, never heard used as verb, execrate, haven't heard othat word.
Uriel   Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:23 pm GMT
<<abhor, abominate, despise, detest, dislike, execrate, hate, loathe >>

Hmm, I would have a different ranking:

Hate -- well, that's an absolute, so it goes at the top, even though often it gets used to describe anything from strong dislike on up, so sometimes its real meaning is diluted and trivialized

Loathe -- abject hatred, implying complete inability to even tolerate the object of your loathing

Abhor (which is a lot like loathe, but less widely used, so it lacks the same "punch")

Despise implies a strong measure of personal contempt and can be between loathing and disliking, so it's a bit more intense than simple dislike

Detest is a lot like despising but a little less personal and a little more abstract

Dislike is the mildest of the bunch, really

Abominate and execrate are probably in the same league as hatred and loathing, but because they tend to be a little more literary and are almost never used in ordinary conversation, they lack the visceral punch of hate and loathe. In all honestly, abhor comes close to falling into this category as well, but it does get used occasionally in speech, so I think it can be included in the first list.

As a side note, derivatives like abomination and abhorrance ARE in common use, and carry pretty strong connotations -- to call something an abomination is one of the harshest criticisms you can bestow. But abominate as a verb is rarely used at all.
Guest   Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:06 am GMT
Are there any archaic words for "hate" that I can revive?