ghastly, grisly, gruesome, macabre, lurid mean horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect. ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts <a ghastly accident>. grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty <an unusually grisly murder><suffered a gruesome death>. macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death <a macabre tale of premature burial>. lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder <the lurid details of a crime>.