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 horrible (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 Between uncertainty, social unrest, a global health care crisis, childcare issues, food insecurity and general anxiety, 2020 was horrible. Beth D'addono, NOLA.com, "New Orleans bars and restaurants react to a rugged 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Many of the words submitted reflect just how horrible this year has been. Washington Post, "Dumpster fire," 18 Dec. 2020 Cook and waitress Lisa Vasquez, 43, said business has been horrible since Michigan reinstated another round of lockdown orders. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "After tough year, police hand deliver $100 bills to residents for Secret Santa couple," 18 Dec. 2020 And the environment for media and information consumption where news is accessible tends to be pretty horrible. Danielle Allen, Harper's Magazine, "What’s in a Vote?," 27 Oct. 2020 Comparatively speaking, this pandemic is perhaps not as horrible. Janet Siroto Next Avenue, Star Tribune, "'I feel cheated': How boomers are coping with the COVID-19 curveball," 15 Oct. 2020 If a storm is particularly horrible, like Katrina, its name is retired from the rotation. Kevin Fisher-paulson, SFChronicle.com, "When tragedy strikes, give it a good name," 29 Sep. 2020 That explains why Homelander is just so damn horrible. Rachel Paige, refinery29.com, "The Boys Is Officially Off Book After That Stormfront & Homelander Scene," 18 Sep. 2020 Look, people talk about how mean and bitchy and horrible and terrible and backbiting fashion is and stuff. Phillip Picardi, Vogue, "Chapter Four: The Making of Seventh on Sale, Fashion’s Biggest Fundraiser," 16 Dec. 2020

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 2021

Cite this Entry

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

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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

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