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mon·​strous ˈmän(t)-strəs How to pronounce monstrous (audio)
: having extraordinary often overwhelming size : gigantic
stuffing a monstrous sandwich down his throatMike Flaherty
a monstrous skyscraper
: extraordinarily ugly or vicious : horrible
a monstrous crime
monstrous mayhem
: shockingly wrong or ridiculous
the legend assumed monstrous proportionsLouis Untermeyer
a monstrous miscalculation
: deviating greatly from the natural form or character : abnormal
a monstrous melon
: very great
used as an intensive
a monstrous hammering on his doorG. D. Brown
a monstrous hangover
: having the qualities or appearance of a monster
came face to face with a monstrous creatureLester David
obsolete : teeming with monsters
obsolete : strange, unnatural
monstrously adverb
monstrousness noun


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chiefly dialectal
: very, extremely
a monstrous long raftMark Twain
Choose the Right Synonym for monstrous

monstrous, prodigious, tremendous, stupendous mean extremely impressive.

monstrous implies a departure from the normal (as in size, form, or character) and often carries suggestions of deformity, ugliness, or fabulousness.

the monstrous waste of the project

prodigious suggests a marvelousness exceeding belief, usually in something felt as going far beyond a previous maximum (as of goodness, greatness, intensity, or size).

made a prodigious effort and rolled the stone aside

tremendous may imply a power to terrify or inspire awe.

the tremendous roar of the cataract

stupendous implies a power to stun or astound, usually because of size, numbers, complexity, or greatness beyond description.

a stupendous volcanic eruption

Examples of monstrous in a Sentence

Adjective It was monstrous of him to keep the truth from them all those years. a monstrous melon that was clearly not fit to eat Adverb a monstrous pretty gal, she was
Recent Examples on the Web
Ship sizes have absolutely grown monstrous over the years. Allan Post, The Conversation, 26 Mar. 2024 Icon of the Seas is neither hellacious, horrendous, impersonal, monstrous nor lumbering. David Dickstein, Orange County Register, 2 Feb. 2024 When a monstrous bull (J.K. Simmons) threatens the colony, Po has to transform a crowd of gentle bamboo eaters into a fighting force. Danny Horn,, 31 Jan. 2024 In Bilbao, the monstrous shuttlecock with its flaccid feathers sits in its own space like a sad echo of an ancient badminton game between giants. Christian House, CNN, 18 Mar. 2024 Despite having a fully electric powertrain, the GMC Hummer EV, which tips the scales at a monstrous 9,000 pounds, scored a 29, which was bad enough for 9th worst this year. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 15 Mar. 2024 Buitrago, a Colombian prosecutor, put a number of generals responsible for monstrous human-rights violations in prison. Alma Guillermoprieto, The New Yorker, 4 Mar. 2024 The narrator recalls monstrous eyes staring back at her from the knots in her ceiling, but can find nowhere to hide. Peter Debruge, Variety, 4 Mar. 2024 Shortly after play resumed, Furphy took off from the left corner, went through the middle and delivered a monstrous jam. Shreyas Laddha, Kansas City Star, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'monstrous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


1569, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of monstrous was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near monstrous

Cite this Entry

“Monstrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: unusually large : gigantic
: very ugly or vicious : horrible
: shockingly wrong or ridiculous
: very different from the usual form : abnormal
monstrously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on monstrous

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