horror

noun
hor·​ror | \ ˈhȯr-ər How to pronounce horror (audio) , ˈhär-\

Definition of horror

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay astonishment giving place to horror on the faces of the people about me— H. G. Wells
b : intense aversion or repugnance
2a : the quality of inspiring horror : repulsive, horrible, or dismal quality or character contemplating the horror of their lives— Liam O'Flaherty
b : something that inspires horror
3 horrors plural : a state of extreme depression or apprehension

horror

adjective

Definition of horror (Entry 2 of 2)

: calculated to inspire feelings of dread or horror a horror movie

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Examples of horror in a Sentence

Noun

There was a look of horror on her face. The crowd watched in horror as the fire spread. His friends were shocked by the horror of his death. His crimes were unspeakable horrors. His memoirs recount the horrors of the war.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Silence: A Quiet Place meets Chilling Adventures of Sabrina in this Netflix original horror film. Streaming on Netflix Thursday, April 11 Black Summer: The first season of this zombie apocalypse thriller series is dropping today. Glamour, "These 9 TV Shows and Movies Are Better Than Any of Your Plans This Week," 7 Apr. 2019 Shahadi dazzles as Zora Wilson in Jordan Peele’s horror film Us, the terrifying story of a family that comes face-to-face with their evil doppelgangers while on vacation. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Shahadi Wright Joseph Opens Up About a Possible "Us" Sequel, Impressing Her Parents, and Perfecting an Evil Doppelganger," 1 Apr. 2019 For too long, horror films have been defined by a rigid set of rules. Kellee Terrell, Harper's BAZAAR, "Jen McGowan's Feminist Horror Rust Creek Is Exactly What Hollywood Needs Right Now," 22 Jan. 2019 Not every memorable horror film inspires a movement. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 2018 The unlikely venture was an extension of a program started in 1962 and run by actor Vincent Price, known for his roles in horror films. Tiffany Hsu, The Seattle Times, "When Sears was everywhere: espionage, politics and fine art," 15 Oct. 2018 The horrifying phenomenon encourages youngsters to undertake horrific daily tasks including self-harming, watching horror films and waking up at unusual hours. Sam Webb, Fox News, "'Momo' horror: Teen self-harms after family is threatened through sick social media 'suicide game'," 17 Sep. 2018 Refracted through Lutie’s besieged consciousness, Harlem takes on a quality of Gothic horror. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Black and White, in Wind and Fog," 22 Feb. 2019 Topside, the scene is still one of horror and havoc. John Mccain, Popular Mechanics, "Fire on the Flight Deck," 27 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1936, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for horror

Noun

Middle English horrour, from Anglo-French *orur, from Latin horror action of bristling, from horrēre to bristle, shiver; akin to Sanskrit harṣate he is excited

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More Definitions for horror

horror

noun

English Language Learners Definition of horror

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very strong feeling of fear, dread, and shock
: the quality of something that causes feelings of fear, dread, and shock : the horrible or shocking quality or character of something
: something that causes feelings of fear, dread, and shock : something that is shocking and horrible

horror

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of horror (Entry 2 of 2)

: intended to cause feelings of fear or horror

horror

noun
hor·​ror | \ ˈhȯr-ər How to pronounce horror (audio) \

Kids Definition of horror

1 : great fear, dread, or shock All the children stared in horror at Pippi, and the teacher explained that one couldn't answer that way at school.— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking
2 : a quality or thing that causes horror They witnessed the horror of war.

horror

noun
hor·​ror | \ ˈhȯr-ər, ˈhär- How to pronounce horror (audio) \

Medical Definition of horror

: painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay

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More from Merriam-Webster on horror

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with horror

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for horror

Spanish Central: Translation of horror

Nglish: Translation of horror for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of horror for Arabic Speakers

Comments on horror

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