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 Now longtime staff members on Capitol Hill were horrified by what all the attention would do to an already fractious House. Susan Dominus, New York Times, "Hope and High Drama: A Year With Two New Democratic Congresswomen," 18 Nov. 2019 And young people reading it today, they would be horrified by it. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "How Meg Cabot's Black Canary: Ignite brings more feminist representation to comic books," 23 Oct. 2019 The incident is believed to have happened during the first half of the game and horrified others within earshot reacted quickly to call upon stewards to intervene. SI.com, "Man Utd Issue 'Indefinite Ban' After Identifying Fan Who Racially Abused Trent Alexander-Arnold," 22 Oct. 2019 But it is also horrified by the prospect of the government setting a floor on retail interest rates. The Economist, "Germany debates banning negative interest rates," 29 Aug. 2019 But some weren't horrified by the taunts or sickened by the images. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Bianca Devins' murder is 'not an Instagram story,' domestic violence expert says," 17 July 2019 Like everyone in our community, Ms. Brown is horrified about the ongoing tragedy involving Kamille McKinney. Laura Barcella, PEOPLE.com, "3-Year-Old Girl Abducted From Birthday Party Died by Suffocation on Same Day of Kidnapping," 25 Oct. 2019 Like everyone in our community, Ms. Brown is horrified about the ongoing tragedy involving Kamille McKinney. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney: Timeline of a Birmingham tragedy," 23 Oct. 2019 Tweenhood, which starts around age 9, is horrifying for a few reasons. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "Why Is Middle School So Hard for So Many People?," 7 Oct. 2019

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 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Horrify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/horrifyingly?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=horrif04. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horrify

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

Comments on horrify

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


very cautious or careful

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