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adjective atro·cious \ə-ˈtrō-shəs\

Simple Definition of atrocious

  • : very evil or cruel

  • : very bad

Full Definition of atrocious

  1. 1 :  extremely wicked, brutal, or cruel :  barbaric

  2. 2 :  appalling, horrifying <the atrocious weapons of modern war>

  3. 3 a :  utterly revolting :  abominable <atrocious working conditions> b :  of very poor quality <atrocious handwriting>

atro·cious·ly adverb
atro·cious·ness noun

Examples of atrocious

  1. … much of the manufactured-home industry employed sales practices that were atrocious. The need for meaningful down payments was frequently ignored. Sometimes fakery was involved. Moreover, impossible-to-meet monthly payments were being agreed to by borrowers who signed up because they had nothing to lose. —Warren E. Buffett, Newsweek, 9 Mar. 2009

  2. In the hands of a succession of more or less sadistic colonial governors and prison officers, convicts, particularly repeat offenders, found themselves subjected to atrocious punishments, flogged, committed to chain gangs, kept in underground pits, starved, and bullied. —Caroline Moorehead, New York Review of Books, 16 Nov. 2006

  3. It would seem that by now the Tigers might be weary of analyzing their roller-coaster season, sick of reliving their atrocious 9-23 start and comparing it with their recent hot streak. —Sports Illustrated, 4 Sept. 2000

  4. an atrocious period in the nation's history

  5. <an atrocious crime that shocked even hardened members of the police force>

Origin of atrocious

Latin atroc-, atrox gloomy, atrocious, from atr-, ater black + -oc-, -ox (akin to Greek ōps eye) — more at eye

First Known Use: 1658

Rhymes with atrocious

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February 9, 2016

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