atrocious

adjective
atro·​cious | \ ə-ˈtrō-shəs How to pronounce atrocious (audio) \

Definition of atrocious

1 : extremely wicked, brutal, or cruel : barbaric prisoners subjected to atrocious treatment
2 : appalling, horrifying the atrocious weapons of modern war an atrocious accident
3a : utterly revolting : abominable atrocious working conditions atrocious weather
b : of very poor quality atrocious handwriting

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Other Words from atrocious

atrociously adverb
atrociousness noun

Examples of atrocious in a Sentence

… much of the manufactured-home industry employed sales practices that were atrocious. The need for meaningful down payments was frequently ignored. Sometimes fakery was involved. Moreover, impossible-to-meet monthly payments were being agreed to by borrowers who signed up because they had nothing to lose. — Warren E. Buffett, Newsweek, 9 Mar. 2009 In the hands of a succession of more or less sadistic colonial governors and prison officers, convicts, particularly repeat offenders, found themselves subjected to atrocious punishments, flogged, committed to chain gangs, kept in underground pits, starved, and bullied. — Caroline Moorehead, New York Review of Books, 16 Nov. 2006 It would seem that by now the Tigers might be weary of analyzing their roller-coaster season, sick of reliving their atrocious 9-23 start and comparing it with their recent hot streak. Sports Illustrated, 4 Sept. 2000 an atrocious period in the nation's history an atrocious crime that shocked even hardened members of the police force
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Recent Examples on the Web Every change on that corner of the city looked atrocious at the time, and has turned out good for San Francisco. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "When nostalgia is our enemy. Is it time for a Cliff House reinvention?," 4 Feb. 2021 Those accused of atrocious crimes were in the custody of the victors. Aryeh Neier, The New Republic, "The Persistence of Hate In American Politics," 27 Jan. 2021 And many of whom, it should be pointed out, are quite skilled at making atrocious hires. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "NFL disappoints yet again with failure to hire more Black coaches," 28 Jan. 2021 An atrocious defense has made a bit of a turnaround in Big D: The Cowboys have 10 takeaways in their three-game winning streak. Barry Wilner, ajc, "NFL races go down to the wire in AFC South and NFC East," 2 Jan. 2021 Given all the fish, the puppy’s breath must have been atrocious. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Yukon gold miner unearths a mummified Ice Age wolf pup," 22 Dec. 2020 Nearly all the letters include messages and asides from Father Christmas’s friend and helper, the Great Polar Bear, whose spelling is atrocious but whose heart and paws are in the right place. Washington Post, "Before he dreamed up Frodo, J.R.R. Tolkien let his imagination run wild as Father Christmas," 22 Dec. 2020 There was an absolutely atrocious interception by Foles in the third quarter. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, "What do you get when you punctuate a Chicago Bears road win with some Meek Mill in Club Dub? An absolutely caffeinated Nick Foles.," 19 Oct. 2020 Anyone in the NFC East — This atrocious bunch that lacks a single team with a winning record is led by the New York Giants. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Winter provides an opportunity for Aaron Rodgers, Packers to catch fire," 5 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atrocious.' 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 atrocious

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for atrocious

Latin atroc-, atrox gloomy, atrocious, from atr-, ater black + -oc-, -ox (akin to Greek ōps eye) — more at eye

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Time Traveler for atrocious

Time Traveler

The first known use of atrocious was in 1604

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Statistics for atrocious

Last Updated

18 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Atrocious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atrocious. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for atrocious

atrocious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of atrocious

: very evil or cruel
: very bad

atrocious

adjective
atro·​cious | \ ə-ˈtrō-shəs How to pronounce atrocious (audio) \

Kids Definition of atrocious

1 : extremely brutal, cruel, or wicked an atrocious crime
2 : very bad atrocious weather atrocious manners

Other Words from atrocious

atrociously adverb behaved atrociously

atrocious

adjective
atro·​cious | \ ə-ˈtrō-shəs How to pronounce atrocious (audio) \

Legal Definition of atrocious

: characterized by extreme cruelty or viciousness atrocious assault and battery

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