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

In short, the books are perfect fodder for del Toro, whose visually distinctive work has often centered on fairy tales and fantasy (Pan's Labyrinth), classic horror (Crimson Peak, Mama), monsters (Hellboy, The Shape of Water), and the like. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," 11 Aug. 2019 He—and sometimes, shamefully, the media that covered his activities—trafficked in euphemism, disguising the horrors he was accused of in slippery forms of storytelling. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "‘Epstein Is Gone, but Justice Must Still Be Served’," 10 Aug. 2019 Given the fierceness of that devotion, the potential for horror is nearly endless. The Economist, "Helen Phillips’s “The Need” skilfully exploits maternal fears," 9 Aug. 2019 Since disclosing the horrors to Pesta, Teristi reported the rape to the police. Danielle Mcnally, Marie Claire, "Larry Nassar's Likely First Victim Alleges Even Darker Evils in New Book on His Abuse," 6 Aug. 2019 This was a potential horror that was maybe eating other parrots. Jenny Howard, National Geographic, "This toddler-size parrot was a prehistoric oddity," 6 Aug. 2019 Living in Liberty City, the horror was already outside: Drug dealers on the corner. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Colts LB Ahmad Thomas was born without a family or future, then he found both," 3 Aug. 2019 But despite all that day's horror, baby Cambrie wasn't hurt. CBS News, "Jarring new video shows the moment a semi-truck plowed into van, killing seven," 31 July 2019 In fact, that train running through tunnels deep below ground was just the first of several surreal elements insinuated into this work of historical fiction that drew on horrors from centuries of America’s troubled past. Ron Charles, Houston Chronicle, "In Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Nickel Boys,’ an idealistic black teen learns a harsh reality," 30 July 2019

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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