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 Hornets allowed opponents an average of 49 points scored in the lane last season, which wasn’t horrible at 16th among 30 NBA teams. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets have a rim-protection problem; will they draft a shot-blocker?," 4 June 2019 One of the most beautiful and beloved voices our world will ever know is now communicating something horrible, too. Chris Richards, chicagotribune.com, "Commentary: Hearing a Michael Jackson song still feels good; listening has become too painful.," 25 June 2019 That’s a horrible pace to keep for 15 straight minutes with one of the best in the world. Greg Luca, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio’s Alexander Hernandez taking new approach after first UFC loss," 24 June 2019 It’s easier not to have to contemplate the emperor in his horrible nakedness. Laurie Penny, The New Republic, "Why It Matters How Powerful Men Treat Women," 24 June 2019 Travel conditions in the WNBA are still an issue and the Fever are in the midst of experiencing a horrible travel experience from Seattle. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Fever Become Latest WNBA Squad to Encounter Nightmarish Travel Troubles," 24 June 2019 Corporate satire may not be the most prominent of genres, but there have plenty of plays and movies over the years about people dealing with horrible bosses or struggling to succeed in hostile work environments and cutthroat industries. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Corporate satire by Carey Perloff hits most of its marks at SF Playhouse," 21 June 2019 Moore, the most horrible candidate imaginable from any party, was narrowly defeated by moderate Democrat Doug Jones in the 2017 special election. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al.com, "What happens when Alabama recycling goes wrong? Roy Moore," 19 June 2019 And when Gilda is supposed to be eavesdropping on the horrible betrayal, Ravella annoyingly has her standing right next to the plotters. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Classic operas 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Rigoletto' round out the St. Louis festival," 18 June 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 orrible, horrible, from Anglo-French, from Latin horribilis, from horrēre

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Statistics for horrible

Last Updated

13 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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