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 The drinking water situation was absolutely appalling... Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Jerri Manthey recalls walking out on 'All-Stars' reunion show," 27 Apr. 2021 The execution scene, its appalling cruelty cloaked in ceremony, bears a grotesque resemblance to the presentation of debutantes at a cotillion ball. Andrew Delbanco, The New York Review of Books, "Kubrick’s Human Comedy," 27 Apr. 2021 This is not so much because of Brazil’s greenhouse gas emissions—which are much less than those spewed by the United States, China, India, and Russia—but because of the current government’s appalling track record on Amazon deforestation. Andre Pagliarini, The New Republic, "Bolsonaro Doesn’t Want to Save the Amazon. He Just Wants to Extort the Countries That Do.," 23 Apr. 2021 And, yes, that might be appalling news to psilocybin lovers everywhere. Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, "Psilocybin Impairs Productive Creativity, At Least While Users Are ‘Stoned’ — Or So A New Study Suggests," 19 Apr. 2021 Beneath what appears to be another appalling accidental shooting actually belies a complex, systemic issue at the core of America’s problematic, hyper-aggressive policing philosophy. Anne Quito, Quartz, "Taser stun guns have a big design problem," 16 Apr. 2021 The confidence remains strong, the optimism remains pervasive, but those appalling numbers never seem to change. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Jackie Robinson Day: MLB having Michele Meyer-Shipp's voice is 'big step' for Black equality in baseball," 15 Apr. 2021 Congress has been arguing itself to a standstill over the federal minimum wage (currently an appalling $7.25 an hour). Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: Essential Arts: Homelessness in Echo Park is out of sight but not out of mind," 3 Apr. 2021 The Border Patrol called it the work of human smugglers, and a sector chief called it appalling and vicious. NBC News, "Two toddlers dropped from 14-foot border barrier into U.S., officials say," 1 Apr. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Appalling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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