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 The writers who recorded these events were, for the most part, Athenians who were appalled by this horrible display of mob anger. Mark Munn, The Conversation, "Massive spending in a crisis brought bloody consequences in ancient Athens," 17 Apr. 2020 So the opportunity to give people even a small respite in this horrible time is certainly something that all of us are grateful for and feel a responsibility for. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Why Michael Jordan's The Last Dance is exactly what sports fans need right now," 16 Apr. 2020 The grandfather of the family was a Holocaust survivor—someone who experienced the world turning over in so many horrible ways, and here, the granddaughters of a Holocaust survivor were celebrating their b’not mitzvah despite a pandemic. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "'Here in Spirit': An Oral History of Faith Amid the Pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 Imagine the horrible situation people are going to be in who face that. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Design Icon Bunny Williams Shares How She's Keeping Busy at Home," 8 Apr. 2020 However, like in the rest of life, travel days can sometimes be euphoric, sometimes horrible, and sometimes just straight-up boring. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "10 Mistakes You Might Make When Traveling Solo — and How to Avoid Them (Video)," 8 Apr. 2020 Jeff Lowe, a business associate of Exotic’s who enters the series midway through, is a more limited character, but his treatment of women is still horrible enough to be noteworthy. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Tiger King Is the Most Exploitative Show Netflix Has Made Yet," 7 Apr. 2020 These are fellow Americans who have contracted this horrible disease. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "Anniston community, city leaders torn on coronavirus patients coming to Alabama," 23 Feb. 2020 But the tornadoes that the Cherokee Nation fears are much more likely, and there’s an even more horrible everyday use case. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "There's an Eerie Doomsday Vault That Stores All the World's Seeds," 12 Feb. 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

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Horrible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrible. Accessed 26 May. 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

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