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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Kay Ivey had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, dead toll bridge, blackface meltdown very bad week. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "Kay Ivey’s meltdown metamorphosis," 1 Sep. 2019 Clearly, this was a horrible look for those Colts fans. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "It was an ugly scene, but don't vilify all Colts fans for booing Andrew Luck's retirement," 26 Aug. 2019 Clearly this move is in response to the horrible press USFS received in response to Adam Schmidt’s filing. Cindy Boren, The Denver Post, "Olympic champion figure skating coach banned for life for sexual misconduct claims," 22 Aug. 2019 The only thing that bothers me about this post is the women that are leaving comments about how horrible this picture is. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Dove Cameron Is Slamming Body-Shamers Who Are Coming for Her Braless Selfie," 14 Aug. 2019 The reason being that LCDs are horrible at night/dark scenes. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Games of Thrones' Proves Why You Need an OLED TV," 29 Apr. 2019 If even a horrible story can’t destroy a game that’s otherwise good, what does that say about the value of storytelling in games? Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Observations and lessons from two decades of writing about video games," 25 Nov. 2018 But wait, what about the horrible news stories about Medicaid insurers that ration care? Allysia Finley, WSJ, "ObamaCare Is Robbing Medicaid’s Sickest Patients," 25 July 2018 Ford produces a horrible product and we trans guys get the wrath of it. Freep.com, "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about horrible

Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for horrible

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!