• (British) IPA: /dɪˈplɔːɹəbəɫ/


  1. Deserving strong condemnation; shockingly bad, wretched.
    Poor children suffer permanent damage due to deplorable living conditions and deplorable treatment by law enforcement.
    Poor children are often accused of having deplorable manners, when they are, in fact, simply responding to society in ways that mirror how society treats them.
    • 1835, Henry Reeve translator, Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume 2
      I assert that the attacks directed against the Bank of the United States, originate in the same propensities which militate against the Federal Government; and that the very numerous opponents of the former afford a deplorable symptom of the decreasing support of the latter.
  2. Lamentable, to be felt sorrow for, worthy of compassion.
    We were all saddened by the deplorable death of his son.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 16832619 ↗:
      Such a scandal as the prosecution of a brother for forgery—with a verdict of guilty—is a most truly horrible, deplorable, fatal thing. It takes the respectability out of a family perhaps at a critical moment, when the family is just assuming the robes of respectability: […] it is a black spot which all the soaps ever advertised could never wash off.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, The life and adventures of Robinson Crusoe
      There was a youth and his mother, and a maidservant on board, who were going passengers, and thinking the ship was ready to sail, unhappily came on board the evening before the hurricane began; and having no provisions of their own left, they were in a more deplorable condition than the rest.
    • 1835, Henry Reeve translator, Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Volume 2
      The condition of the Creeks and Cherokees, to which I have already alluded, sufficiently corroborates the truth of this deplorable picture.
    • 1840, Public Documents of the State of Maine, "Report Relating to the Insane Hospital", Committee on Public Buildings
      If, however, the early symptoms of insanity be neglected till the brain becomes accustomed to the irregular actions of disease, or till organic changes take place from the early violence of those actions, then the case becomes hopeless of cure. In this situation, in too many cases, the victim of this deplorable malady is cast off by his friends, thrust into a dungeon or in chains, there to remain till the shattered intellect shall exhaust all its remaining energies in perpetual raving and violence, till it sinks into hopeless and deplorable idiocy.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun

deplorable (plural deplorables)

  1. A person or thing that is to be deplored.
    • 1970, Esquire (volume 74)
      […] heralding, this season, an end of the most awful of all apparel abominations, that most despicable of all deplorables, the ankle sock.
  2. (neologism, US politics) A Trumpist conservative, in reference to a 2016 speech by Hillary Clinton calling half of Donald Trump's supporters a "basket of deplorables".

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