hor·​ri·​ble | \ ˈhȯr-ə-bəl How to pronounce horrible (audio) , ˈhär- \

Definition of horrible

1 : marked by or arousing painful and intense fear, dread, dismay, or aversion : marked by or arousing horror a horrible accident
2 : extremely bad or unpleasant a horrible mistake horrible food

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Other Words from horrible

horrible noun
horribleness noun
horribly \ ˈhȯr-​ə-​blē How to pronounce horribly (audio) , ˈhär-​ \ adverb

Examples of horrible in a Sentence

He suffered a horrible death. The crime scene was too horrible to describe. The team had a horrible season last year. He realized that he had made a horrible mistake.
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Recent Examples on the Web Mostly horrible triggers, but with ARs, there are some excellent aftermarket triggers that will solve that problem. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "The four basic types of rifles: Bolt, Lever, Pump and Semi Auto," 7 Jan. 2020 Yet even if those horrible losses had not befallen his family, Biden would have a very public relationship to the dead. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Designated Mourner," 7 Jan. 2020 And Sunday’s final game certainly didn’t follow a rewarding script as the team suffered a horrible loss. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: Little-known fire risk rating affects your home insurance," 16 Dec. 2019 More than a billion rides every year, and rarely does something horrible happen. Chicago Tribune, Twin Cities, "Other voices: Make the ride-share ride safer," 13 Dec. 2019 In other words, a large majority of the accusations of abuse that have surfaced in this century are also dated to the horrible era of 1960 to 1985. Vincent Carroll, The Denver Post, "Carroll: There is cause for hope amid dire reports of clergy sexual abuse of minors," 13 Dec. 2019 My grandmother is a horrible cook with a lot of heart. Alison Roman, Bon Appétit, "Alison Roman’s Brisket Is Nothing Like Her Grandma’s—and That’s a Good Thing," 3 Dec. 2019 The horrible rite continued until the Athenian hero Theseus came to Crete, entered the Labyrinth, and slew the beast. Amaranta Sbardella, National Geographic, "The monstrous Minotaur riveted ancient Greece and Rome," 1 Oct. 2019 The trailer starts off with a young child on Erangel, PUBG’s first map, who is the sole survivor of a horrible battle on the island. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "PUBG’s first official story trailer is dark as hell," 17 July 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for horrible

Middle English orible, horrible, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin horribilis, from horrēre "to be stiffly erect, bristle (of hair, weapons, plants), shudder, shiver" + -ibilis "capable of exhibiting or causing (the action of the verb)" — more at horror entry 1, -able

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Time Traveler for horrible

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Horrible.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrible. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for horrible


How to pronounce horrible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of horrible

: causing horror : very shocking and upsetting
: very bad or unpleasant


hor·​ri·​ble | \ ˈhȯr-ə-bəl How to pronounce horrible (audio) \

Kids Definition of horrible

1 : causing horror : terrible a horrible crash
2 : very unpleasant a horrible smell

Other Words from horrible

horribly \ -​blē \ adverb

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Comments on horrible

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


not to be intimidated or subdued

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