hid·​eous | \ ˈhi-dē-əs How to pronounce hideous (audio) \

Definition of hideous

1 : offensive to the senses and especially to sight : exceedingly ugly hideous furniture The dress looked hideous on her.
2 : morally offensive : shocking a hideous crime

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from hideous

hideosity \ ˌhi-​dē-​ˈä-​sə-​tē How to pronounce hideous (audio) \ noun
hideously adverb
hideousness noun

Examples of hideous in a Sentence

The room was filled with hideous furniture. the hideous way in which she treated her maid after she discovered her ring was missing
Recent Examples on the Web The month comes to a close with Halloween, a spooky, scary time when the nation is haunted by a relentless onslaught of political attack ads in which basically every candidate for public office is depicted as a hideous, bloodsucking ghoul. Dave Barry, Washington Post, "Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2020," 27 Dec. 2020 Slowly though, this drawer filled up with an especially gaudy collection of flotsam: sparkly dresses, capes, plastic beads, fake flowers, hideous wigs, and netting underskirts with sagging elastic at the waistline. Rosalind Jana, refinery29.com, "Celebrate Dressing Up For The Holidays — Even With Nowhere To Go," 21 Dec. 2020 Wackiness ensues when a fly inside the machine fuses with the scientist and turns him into a hideous monster. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "The buzz about San Antonio’s houseflies is that they suck — big time," 9 Dec. 2020 Even some of the mediocrities, and there are many in 2020, can be downright hideous. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "On Football: The Bad, The Worse, and the Truly Ugly," 7 Dec. 2020 Despite his retort, Altman is aware of the hideous numbers. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers drafting Isaac Okoro is a ‘big first step’ in turning around the NBA’s worst defense," 20 Nov. 2020 This week, rose lovers, new Bachelorette star Tayshia rid the world of a hideous scourge. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "The Bachelorette recap: 'I'm ready to show her how grown my ass is as a man'," 18 Nov. 2020 In New Delhi, the surge in COVID-19 cases is complicated by hideous pollution levels—this month, the city was reporting that dangerous airborne particulates were fourteen times the safe level. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Global Warming by the Numbers, Because This Week the Reality Is Too Much," 17 Nov. 2020 Also, teaching kids to be ashamed of their feelings is hideous — real men don’t teach boys that real men don’t cry — but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad not to show emotion. Washington Post, "Carolyn Hax: A grieving husband won’t show his emotions," 7 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hideous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hideous

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hideous

alteration of Middle English hidous, from Anglo-French hidus, hisdos, from Old French hisde, hide terror

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hideous

Time Traveler for hideous

Time Traveler

The first known use of hideous was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hideous

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hideous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hideous. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hideous


How to pronounce hideous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hideous

: very ugly or disgusting


hid·​eous | \ ˈhi-dē-əs How to pronounce hideous (audio) \

Kids Definition of hideous

: very ugly or disgusting : frightful

Other Words from hideous

hideously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hideous

What made you want to look up hideous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!