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

New products are chasing this trend, some delicious, some atrocious, some – like the trendy nonalcoholic botanical spirit Seedlip — that can charm or vanish, depending on the rest of the drink. M. Carrie Allan, The Denver Post, "No alcohol, no problem: How to make complex, balanced zero-proof cocktails," 23 Aug. 2019 New products are chasing this trend, some delicious, some atrocious, some — like the trendy nonalcoholic botanical spirit Seedlip — that can charm or vanish, depending on the rest of the drink. M. Carrie Allan, Twin Cities, "No alcohol, no problem: How to make complex, balanced zero-proof cocktails," 19 Aug. 2019 Even so, the Cavaliers/Pacers series is likely to be decided by Cleveland’s ability (or inability) to improve its own atrocious defense. Ben Golliver, SI.com, "2018 NBA Playoffs: The Biggest Questions For Each Series," 12 Apr. 2018 While the Denver defense was far from dominant, the offense was often atrocious. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla vs. O’Halloran: Did punting preseason doom Broncos to defeat in Oakland?," 10 Sep. 2019 His 18 months at the club were nothing short of atrocious for everyone involved - apart from opposition goalkeepers. SI.com, "Alvaro Morata: Chelsea Must Not Even Think About Cutting His Atletico Loan Short This Summer," 30 June 2019 The movie’s pagan-commune plot is clearly derivative of the horror classic The Wicker Man — the brilliant 1973 version, not the atrocious Nicolas Cage remake. Ross Douthat, National Review, "Midsommar Casts a Transfixing Scandinavian Spell," 25 July 2019 American culture didn’t require Japanese internment to be as atrocious as Nazism to ultimately condemn its own treatment of the Japanese. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The “concentration camp” language debate is the wrong fight," 13 July 2019 The idea that continued U.S. support for the atrocious Saudi bombing campaign will help prevent suffering of the Yemeni people is laughable. WSJ, "The Saudis Are the Cause of Trouble in Yemen," 7 July 2019

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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Learn More about atrocious

Dictionary Entries near atrocious

atrium

atro-

atrocha

atrocious

atrocity

à trois

atropaceous

Statistics for atrocious

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for atrocious

The first known use of atrocious was in 1604

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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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Comments on atrocious

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