hor·​ri·​fy | \ ˈhȯr-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce horrify (audio) , ˈhär- \
horrified; horrifying

Definition of horrify

transitive verb

1 : to cause to feel horror
2 : to fill with distaste : shock

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Other Words from horrify

horrifyingly \ ˈhȯr-​ə-​ˌfī-​iŋ-​lē How to pronounce horrifyingly (audio) , ˈhär-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for horrify



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Choose the Right Synonym for horrify

dismay, appall, horrify, daunt mean to unnerve or deter by arousing fear, apprehension, or aversion. dismay implies that one is disconcerted and at a loss as to how to deal with something. dismayed at the size of the job appall implies that one is faced with that which perturbs, confounds, or shocks. I am appalled by your behavior horrify stresses a reaction of horror or revulsion. was horrified by such wanton cruelty daunt suggests a cowing, disheartening, or frightening in a venture requiring courage. a cliff that would daunt the most intrepid climber

Examples of horrify in a Sentence

The details of the crime horrified the nation. They were horrified by the movie's violence.
Recent Examples on the Web And yet, what the photograph does measure is its most telling, horrifying attribute. Jason Parham, Wired, "Depth of Field: George Floyd and the Illusion of Progress," 29 May 2020 The fever and ague, diarrhea and dysentery had made dreadful havoc ... and the awful pictures of the tent town or encamping ground at Happy Valley are horrifying in the extreme. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "When disease racked Gold Rush San Francisco," 29 May 2020 Robert Eggers made his debut with this atmospheric 17th-century drama, about a devout Puritan family to whom horrifying things keep happening. Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "The best movies on Netflix right now," 28 May 2020 But she was horrified that so many of her Hispanic colleagues were rounded up. Richard Fausset, BostonGlobe.com, "After ICE raids, a reckoning in Mississippi’s chicken country," 28 Dec. 2019 But maybe we're supposed to be horrified instead of merely concerned about climate change. Felecia Wellington Radel, USA TODAY, "Review: Climate change turns apocalyptic in graphic novel adaptation of 'Parable of the Sower'," 28 Jan. 2020 The hate crime committed against a gay student at the University of Wyoming on Oct. 7, 1998 made news around the world and continues to horrify. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Ravinia launches a welcome revival of ‘Considering Matthew Shepard’," 5 Sep. 2019 Gereon, a World War I soldier with severe PTSD, is horrified by these sights and stumbles out of the bank, allowing an angry mob in. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, "What That Confusing Babylon Berlin Ending Means For Season 4," 6 Mar. 2020 But the all-male institution was horrified by the prospect of a woman in its ranks. Hugh Eakin, Harper's magazine, "Selective Hearing," 19 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'horrify.' 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 horrify

1791, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for horrify

probably from horri(fic) + -fy

Note: Given the late appearance of the word, it is most likely not a borrowing from Latin horrificāre "to ruffle the surface of, frighten, terrify."

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Time Traveler for horrify

Time Traveler

The first known use of horrify was in 1791

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Statistics for horrify

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Horrify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrify. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for horrify


How to pronounce horrify (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of horrify

: to cause (someone) to feel horror or shock : to greatly upset and shock (someone)


hor·​ri·​fy | \ ˈhȯr-ə-ˌfī How to pronounce horrify (audio) \
horrified; horrifying

Kids Definition of horrify

: to cause to feel great fear, dread, or shock

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More from Merriam-Webster on horrify

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with horrify

Spanish Central: Translation of horrify

Nglish: Translation of horrify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horrify for Arabic Speakers

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