ap·​pall·​ing | \ ə-ˈpȯ-liŋ How to pronounce appalling (audio) \

Definition of appalling

: inspiring horror, dismay, or disgust living under appalling conditions appalling savagery

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Other Words from appalling

appallingly adverb

Examples of appalling in a Sentence

We drove by an appalling accident on the highway. opening your mouth to show me your half-chewed food is absolutely appalling
Recent Examples on the Web All true, and the fact that the first prosecution of rape as a war crime occurred in 1998 is appalling — especially when Susan Brownmiller tried to tell us about it 23 years before. New York Times, "Bifurcating Realities, Joseph P. Kennedy and Other Letters to the Editor," 31 Dec. 2020 It’s definitely very dated—the language around a trans character is appalling. Raymond Ang, WSJ, "What 18 Celebrities and Tastemakers Streamed and Read During the Pandemic," 24 Dec. 2020 Google’s appalling treatment of Gebru exposes a dual crisis in AI research. Alex Hanna, Wired, "Timnit Gebru’s Exit From Google Exposes a Crisis in AI," 31 Dec. 2020 The evidence pointing to fraud is outright appalling. Elizabeth Thompson, Dallas News, "Five incoming Texas GOP freshmen call on Nancy Pelosi to investigate election, despite little evidence of fraud," 17 Dec. 2020 His public presentation of special counsel Robert Mueller's report — which detailed appalling wrongdoing on the president's part — was a master class in partisan spin, blurring the underlying misconduct amid a whirlwind of legalism and misdirection. Star Tribune, "Good riddance, Bill Barr," 17 Dec. 2020 His appalling record — including support for partial-birth abortions — reveals his priorities and anti-life agenda. Jeanne Mancini, National Review, "Becerra Would Be a Radical Pro-Abortion Warrior at HHS," 10 Dec. 2020 Just as appalling for Australia’s government, which said the image was doctored, was that it was tweeted by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman to his more than 780,000 followers. David Winning, WSJ, "Chinese ‘Wolf Warrior’ Diplomat Enrages Australia With Twitter Post," 30 Nov. 2020 The United States has reached an appalling milestone: more than one million new coronavirus cases every week. New York Times, "The Long Darkness Before Dawn," 30 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'appalling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of appalling

1635, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for appalling

from present participle of appall

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Time Traveler for appalling

Time Traveler

The first known use of appalling was in 1635

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Statistics for appalling

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appalling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for appalling


How to pronounce appalling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of appalling

: very bad in a way that causes fear, shock, or disgust



Kids Definition of appalling

: being shocking and terrible He suffered appalling injuries.

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Comments on appalling

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