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

Yet as appalling as Luther's intolerance of his Jewish contemporaries was, Luther was not an anti-Semite. Mark Pratt, Fox News, "Martin Luther letter critical of Jews is up for auction," 10 July 2018 But while Fallon backed off the critical refrain, hearing comedians take the moral high ground against appalling acts of the administration seems to have become a routinized part of late night. Aja Romano, Vox, "“The sadness just writes itself”: late-night hosts on Trump’s border separation policy," 20 June 2018 Trying to read the first sentence of this appalling story from the Associated Press, Maddow broke down, near tears, and could not finish her show. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Tech Industry Condemns Migrant Child Separation Policy. But What Will They Actually Do About It?," 20 June 2018 Given the side's appalling start to the campaign, the fans are likely to be content with this, and will look to push on to improve next season., "Gennaro Gattuso 'Very Happy' After Milan's Draw With Napoli But Rules Out UCL Qualification," 16 Apr. 2018 What was more appalling than the majority’s weak and unsupported decision, though, was the manner in which this curious threesome conducted the public hearing. Jeffrey Harlan,, "Costa Mesa City Council majority got it wrong by denying Plant project," 10 July 2018 It’s hard to see the callousness of this administration’s decisions, the appalling lack of humanity in the practice of tearing mothers from their children. Maria E. Andreu, Teen Vogue, "I Could Have Been Separated From My Mother While Crossing the Border Between the United States and Mexico," 18 June 2018 After a truly appalling performance, the Brazilians were inconsolable., "World Cup Countdown: 1 Day to Go - Hosts Brazil Suffer Record Humiliation Against Phenomenal Germans," 13 June 2018 This was an appalling day in the United States Congress. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The Only Way Paul Ryan Wins Is if Millions of Americans Lose," 20 Dec. 2017

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

see appall

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Learn More about appalling

Statistics for appalling

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for appalling

The first known use of appalling was in 1635

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More Definitions for appalling



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

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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