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 Last night, Devin was in shock, a little bit confused and just exhausted after a horrible, long day. NBC News, "Harrowing stories emerge of Mexican highway ambush survivors," 5 Nov. 2019 Of course there was so much suffering also, but the feeling of being there specifically wasn't horrible—there was something church-like about it. Louis Cheslaw, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Location: Why the Filming Locations for the Harriet Tubman Movie Were So Important," 1 Nov. 2019 The Bruins have been horrible, and the L.A. Times reported this week that 63 players with remaining eligibility have left school (for a variety of reasons) since Chip Kelly took over in 2016. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "A’s take note: Angels made the right hire in Joe Maddon," 18 Oct. 2019 Normally, heat stress is horrible for a plant (or a person), as hot temperatures under a consistent amount of time can ruin a crop. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Can Scientists Evolve the Next Great Beer?," 13 Oct. 2019 Industrial recyclers of household products such as paper, plastics, metal and glass are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "The recycling market is terrible! Sort your plastics carefully," 4 Oct. 2019 All the bleakness of Dickens and the horrible conditions and the children. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This small Indiana town is a hotbed of utopianism," 5 Aug. 2019 And so when June turns all the Handmaids against me, that's horrible, and the idea is that this has been going on for weeks and weeks, just constant torment between the Handmaids. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ashleigh LaThrop on That Shocking Ofmatthew Twist in The Handmaid's Tale Episode 8," 12 July 2019 Over the years, Morgan has seen his share of devastating structure fires, horrible accidents and other harrowing incidents. Rosemarie Dowell, orlandosentinel.com, "After 44 years, Groveland Fire Chief Willie Morgan prepares for retirement in 2020," 21 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for horrible

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

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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

What made you want to look up horrible? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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