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

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 Although, the fact that President Joe Biden continued the policy at all after assuming office continues to be rather appalling. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2022 The country’s treatment of the elderly and patients with co-morbidities such as obesity was especially appalling. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 Touchin said the lack of economic development other than oil and gas in the area is appalling. Arlyssa D.becenti, The Arizona Republic, 2 Apr. 2022 Joe Borelli, a New York City Councilman representing parts of Staten Island and the council’s minority leader, said the city’s move was appalling. Allison Prang, WSJ, 24 Mar. 2022 The most appalling move the Browns made in their acquisition of Deshaun Watson was crafting his contract to minimize the damage of a suspension. Ben Volin,, 26 Mar. 2022 In a city often numb to gun violence, Sierra’s death had been too appalling to ignore — another sign that the soaring number of murders in the nation’s capital in 2021 was not receding. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 The groping, the intimidating talk of rape, and the unwanted attention Comaroff is accused of are all appalling. Morteza Mahmoudi, Scientific American, 21 Feb. 2022 This is pretty appalling, considering the level of talent in the cast. Andy Meek, BGR, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of appalling

1635, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for appalling

from present participle of appall

Learn More About appalling

Time Traveler for appalling

Time Traveler

The first known use of appalling was in 1635

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near appalling




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for appalling

Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Appalling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for appalling



Kids Definition of appalling

: being shocking and terrible He suffered appalling injuries.

More from Merriam-Webster on appalling

Nglish: Translation of appalling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of appalling for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!