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

His previous six selections in the round can be placed on a short spectrum that spans from horrible (Jonathan Cooper, 2013), to average (Deone Bucannon, 2014). Kent Somers, azcentral, "Kyler Murray isn't the only Cardinals first-round pick with something to prove," 11 June 2019 The last year was a very negative year for me…I just had a horrible time with the show and the women. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "Lisa Vanderpump leaving The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after 9 seasons," 7 June 2019 These are people that have already had the most horrible things happen to them. Don Steinberg, WSJ, "The Rules of Comedy in Iraq," 13 Feb. 2019 Annnnnnd that's when, in the car, the most horrible moment of the entire film takes place. refinery29.com, "This Is The Grossest Scene In Hereditary," 11 June 2018 To save money, Mat tasked his clients with painting the entire room, despite the fact that both Patrick and Helen admitted to being horrible painters. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Watch the Drabbest Rooms Become Fab on Best Room Wins Episode Three," 16 May 2019 Screen brightness is a notable compromise, with the panels rated at 220 nits to 250 nits—not horrible, but not great. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Lenovo's latest IdeaPads offer Intel, AMD, and an Nvidia mystery," 24 Feb. 2019 Which is horrible—but also wonderful in other ways, because fascinating things started surfacing: notes from Diana Vreeland or Si Newhouse or Helmut Newton. Francesco Carrozzini, WSJ, "In Franca Sozzani’s Letters, A Son Sees His Mother’s Creative Spirit," 11 Feb. 2019 So many people came out of this looking horrible — Trump, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, White House adviser Stephen Miller. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Donald Trump meets his match, and she’s 9 years old," 23 June 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

15 Jun 2019

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 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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More from Merriam-Webster on horrible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with horrible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horrible

Spanish Central: Translation of horrible

Nglish: Translation of horrible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horrible for Arabic Speakers

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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