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.
Recent Examples on the Web There’s no doubt that over the last week, the pitching has been horrible. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 16 May 2022 Chamber of Commerce attorney John Tucker said the massacre was horrible, but the nuisance is not ongoing. NBC News, 3 May 2022 Chamber of Commerce attorney John Tucker said the race massacre was horrible, but that the nuisance is not ongoing. Ken Miller, USA TODAY, 3 May 2022 The Packers’ run defense and interior pass rush have been horrible in recent years. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Apr. 2022 The people who want to help, and the good people going through horrible things who are helped by nonprofits. Molly Longman, refinery29.com, 18 Apr. 2022 Many people laugh at horrible things as a way to cope. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Nevertheless, over 99 percent of seriously mentally ill people never do such horrible things, and most psychotics are not violent at all. Barry Latzer, National Review, 22 Mar. 2022 That felt too close to the actual, horrible things in the world. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near horrible

horribile dictu



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Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Horrible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrible. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for horrible


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

More from Merriam-Webster on horrible

Nglish: Translation of horrible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horrible for Arabic Speakers


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