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 minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, says the increase in fines is needed to improve the appalling safety record of India’s roads, where more than 100,000 people are killed and nearly 500,000 injured in accidents every year. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Public transport drivers strike in Delhi over higher fines," 19 Sep. 2019 Given the appalling economic conditions likely to prevail in November, a random person picked off the street would have a good chance of beating Trump. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The angst over Joe Biden's assault allegation has an easy resolution," 2 May 2020 Inconsistent testing, in combination with steadfast denials from the White House about the threat of the virus, exacerbated the appalling lack of preparation for this catastrophe. Keeanga-yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker, "The Black Plague," 16 Apr. 2020 So there are a lot of really appalling contrasts that are hard to get my head around. Jacqueline Landry, The Atlantic, "Social Distance: Watching the Pandemic Hit from Abroad," 15 Apr. 2020 The United States already has appalling statistics in this area compared with other rich countries, and black women there are twice as likely to die in childbirth as white women. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, "The Coronavirus Is a Disaster for Feminism," 19 Mar. 2020 What a galling next chapter that would be in this appalling story. David Von Drehle, Twin Cities, "David Von Drehle: Jeffrey Epstein’s scandal of secrecy points to a creeping rot in the American justice system," 19 June 2019 Roj is a much better camp than Hawl, where more than 65,000 live in often-appalling conditions. James Longman, ABC News, "Caliphate wives share their stories year after ISIS defeat: Reporter's Notebook," 19 Feb. 2020 The finale is a tour de force, a hypnotic mix of Fosse razzle-dazzle and a kind of underwater dance that reveals the appalling charade in which the boys have been forced to participate. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Kander and Ebb’s ‘The Scottsboro Boys’ at the Beck Center entrances as it weaves its story of savage racial injustice," 16 Feb. 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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Appalling.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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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