hor·​ri·​ble | \ˈhȯr-ə-bəl, 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 , 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

Sarah Silverman says the most horrible things in such a cute way. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "We buy each other gifts with misanthropic slogans to forge a common bond," 9 Nov. 2018 The kids drink, smoke, say horrible things about women and make brainless mistakes. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Jonah Hill Makes Directing Look Easy," 30 Oct. 2018 Getty ImagesWPA Pool Today in horrible things Thomas Markle says, Meghan Markle's 74-year-old father has compared the royal family to a cult. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Family," 18 Aug. 2018 And of course, some fans will always be reluctant to give up their heroes, no matter what horrible things those people are accused of. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "As Nas Readies His New Kanye-Produced Album, Why Aren't More People Talking About His Alleged Abuse?," 14 June 2018 Her face, her name, her words about horrible things done to her, replayed over and over and over in different scenarios on the screen. Tricia Romano, Longreads, "The High Price of Being a #MeToo Whistleblower," 23 May 2018 The air is so horrible on planes, but this mask truly does wonders. Emily Sundberg, The Cut, "How Our Social-Media Editor Gets Her Skin So Good," 28 June 2018 Per the trailer, the journalist returns to her childhood home of Wind Gap, not to visit her straight-out-of-a-gothic-horror-movie mom (Patricia Clarkson), but to write about a slew of horrible crimes. refinery29.com, "We're Not Sleeping After Watching This Sharp Objects Trailer," 5 June 2018 When his brother is arrested and accused of committing a horrible crime, William is forced to weigh his strict morals against the realities of how law enforcement and the criminal justice system treat black men. Barbara Chai, WSJ, "Q&A With ‘Atlanta’ Star Brian Tyree Henry," 28 Apr. 2018

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 orrible, horrible, from Anglo-French, from Latin horribilis, from horrēre

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Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horrible

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

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More Definitions for horrible



English Language Learners Definition of horrible

: causing horror : very shocking and upsetting

: very bad or unpleasant


hor·​ri·​ble | \ˈhȯr-ə-bəl \

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).


full of whispering sounds

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