I have the following sentence,

This we have heard and seen, as others beside us have seen; how can it not be, when nowadays some famous books of the madhāhib rule such cases of invalidity or detestability.

I need an alternative for “detestability” as I can't find its definition in any standard online dictionary. I've found an entry in Wiktionary but I'd prefer a word defined by a standard dictionary.

  • 1
    It's just a simple addition of -ability to detest. I for one get the meaning.
    – NVZ
    Jun 26 '17 at 18:41
  • 1
    The noun form of detestable is detestableness, but did you want a word that rhymes with invalidity?
    – jxh
    Jun 26 '17 at 18:43
  • 1
    @KitZ.Fox, It's part of a longer discussion. The latter is what is intended, i.e. “the madhāhib rule such cases as invalid or detestable.” This can be inferred from the context. Jun 26 '17 at 18:49
  • 3
    I'm still not sure if I understand. If it is 'rule' in the sense of 'judge', then it would be written "rule such cases as invalid or detestable".
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Jun 26 '17 at 18:51
  • 1
    There's despicablility Jun 26 '17 at 20:41

As per other comments, I'm not entirely sure what your sentence structure really permits, but if you need a word like detestability then you may be happy with despicability.

despicable adjective

  • deserving to be despised : so worthless or obnoxious as to rouse moral indignation
  • "despicable behavior"


The noun form despicability is not especially common, but is certainly known:


  • a despicable quality or aspect
  • … when writers present to the world someone as unsympathetic as John Self or Humbert Humbert, they tend to sweeten the pill by offsetting the character's despicability with likeable qualities: irony, japery, or a fancy prose style. — David Annand, The (London) Sunday Telegraph, 4 May 2014


Based on this NGram, it looks like despicable is around 500 times more common than despicability

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