"Objectionable" is strange because unlike most "-able" words it begins with a noun instead of a verb.

I would think it should be "objectable", ie, capable of being objected to.

What is the reason for it being "objectionable"?

2 Answers 2


You are right that the suffix -able is added to verbs to form adjectives, and objection, originally, comes from a past participle:

Objectionable (adj.):

objection (n.)

  • late 14c., from Old French objeccion "reply, retort" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin obiectionem (nominative obiectio), "a throwing or putting before," noun of action from past participle stem of Latin obicere "to oppose" (see object (n.)).


  • word-forming element expressing ability, capacity, fitness, from French, from Latin -ibilis, -abilis, forming adjectives from verbs, properly -bilis (the vowels being generally from the stem of the word being suffixed.


As you can see from Ngram, objectable usage has always been uncommon.

  • Ah, that explains it perfectly. Objection actually is a verb!
    – Owen
    Jun 20, 2016 at 14:42

objectionable : arousing distaste or opposition; unpleasant or offensive. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/objectionable

objectable: Such as can be presented in opposition; that may be put forward as an objection. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Objectable

"Objectable" if googled will get some hits, but if you look at it on merriam webster http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objectable it's considered archaic, though it is was word but is not used anymore. The words have two different meanings.

Ex: When teenagers use vulgar language it is considered objectionable.

  • Is it not considered objectionable when people younger or older than teenagers use vulgar language?
    – Angelos
    Jun 20, 2016 at 14:32

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