Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

dreadful

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of dreadful

  1. 1 causing fear <a dreadful hurricane> Synonyms alarming, dire, direful, dread, fearful, fearsome, forbidding, formidable, frightening, frightful, ghastly, hair-raising, horrendous, horrible, horrifying, intimidating, redoubtable, scary, shocking, spine-chilling, terrible, terrifyingRelated Words daunting, demoralizing, disconcerting, discouraging, dismaying, disquieting, distressing, disturbing, perturbing, startling, threatening, troubling, trying, unnerving; bone-chilling, creepy, eerie (also eery), weird; appalling, atrocious, awful, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), hideous, horrid, macabre, monstrous, nightmarishNear Antonyms calming, comforting, consoling, inviting, lulling, pacifying, quieting, reassuring, relaxing, soothing, tranquilizing (also tranquillizing); nonintimidating, nonthreatening

  2. 2 causing intense displeasure, disgust, or resentment <a dreadful performance of a beautiful piece of music> Synonyms abhorrent, abominable, appalling, awful, disgusting, distasteful, offensive, evil, foul, fulsome, gross, hideous, horrendous, horrible, horrid, loathsome, nasty, nauseating, nauseous, noisome, noxious, obnoxious, obscene, odious, rancid, repellent (also repellant), repugnant, repulsive, revolting, scandalous, shocking, sickening, uglyRelated Words exceptionable, objectionable; brackish, disagreeable, dislikable (also dislikeable), unpleasant; contemptible, despicable, detestable, hard, hateful; unhealthy, unsavory, unwholesome; execrable, lousy, miserable; atrocious, frightful, ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), heinous, horrendous, horrific, horrifying, lurid, macabre, monstrous, nightmarish, shocking, sick, sickish, sickly, terrible, unspeakable, vile; off-putting, undesirable, unwanted, unwelcome; barbarous, unchristian, uncivilized, ungodly, unholy; distressing, disturbing, upsettingNear Antonyms acceptable, agreeable, alluring, appealing, attractive, blessed (also blest), congenial, darling, delectable, delicious, delightful, delightsome, desirable, dreamy, dulcet, enjoyable, felicitous, gratifying, heavenly, inviting, likable (or likeable), luscious, nice, palatable, pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, savory (also savoury), sweet, welcome; unexceptionable, unobjectionable; healthful, healthy, restorative, salubrious, salutary, wholesomeAntonyms innocuous, inoffensive

  3. 3 extremely disturbing or repellent <dreadful news of a crime wave in the neighborhood> Synonyms appalling, atrocious, awful, horrible, frightful, ghastly, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrific, horrifying, lurid, macabre, monstrous, nightmare, nightmarish, shocking, terrible, terrificRelated Words alarming, bloodcurdling, dire, direful, fearful, fearsome, forbidding, formidable, frightening, gut-wrenching, hair-raising, heart-stopping, intimidating, redoubtable, scary, terrifying; abhorrent, deplorable, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, nauseating, noisome, obnoxious, obscene, offensive, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, sickening; abominable, evil, foul, heinous, noxious, odious, unspeakable, vile; grotesque, ugly, unsightlyNear Antonyms agreeable, appealing, attractive, delectable, delicious, delightful, enjoyable, enticing, inviting, pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, welcome; cheering, comforting, soothing

  4. 4 extreme in degree, power, or effect <the dreadful heat of the desert> Synonyms acute, almighty, blistering, deep, intense, excruciating, explosive, exquisite, fearful, fearsome, ferocious, fierce, frightful, furious, ghastly, hard, heavy, heavy-duty, hellacious, intensive, keen, profound, terrible, vehement, vicious, violentRelated Words accentuated, aggravated, concentrated, deepened; emphasized, enhanced, heightened, intensified, magnified; stressed; exhaustive, thorough; harsh, rigorous, severeNear Antonyms feeble, weak; shallow, superficial; moderated, qualified; alleviated, eased, lightened, toned (down); abated, decreased, diminished, lessened, reduced, subduedAntonyms light, moderate, soft

  5. 5 having no exceptions or restrictions <made a dreadful mess of his first marriage> Synonyms all-out, arrant, blank, blooming [chiefly British], bodacious [Southern & Midland], categorical (also categoric), clean, complete, consummate, cotton-picking, crashing, damn, damned, dead, deadly, definite, downright, absolute, fair, flat, flat-out, out-and-out, outright, perfect, plumb, profound, pure, rank, regular, sheer, simple, stark, stone, straight-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, total, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unmitigated, unqualified, utter, veryRelated Words authentic, classic, genuine, real, veritable; constant, endless, eternal, perpetual, undying, unremitting; extreme, unrestricted; confirmed, habitual, hopeless, inveterate; extraordinary, frightful, horrible, huge, main, superlative, supreme, surpassing, terrible, terrificNear Antonyms doubtful, dubious, equivocal, qualified, questionable, restricted, uncertain




Learn More about dreadful


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dreadful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

beat defame placate divulge
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ