mon·​strous | \ ˈmän(t)-strəs How to pronounce monstrous (audio) \

Definition of monstrous

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having extraordinary often overwhelming size : gigantic stuffing a monstrous sandwich down his throat— Mike Flaherty a monstrous skyscraper
2a : extraordinarily ugly or vicious : horrible a monstrous crime monstrous mayhem
b : shockingly wrong or ridiculous the legend assumed monstrous proportions— Louis Untermeyer a monstrous miscalculation
3 : deviating greatly from the natural form or character : abnormal a monstrous melon
4 : very great used as an intensive a monstrous hammering on his door— G. D. Browna monstrous hangover
5a : having the qualities or appearance of a monster came face to face with a monstrous creature— Lester David
b obsolete : teeming with monsters
6 obsolete : strange, unnatural



Definition of monstrous (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly dialectal
: very, extremely a monstrous long raft— Mark Twain

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Other Words from monstrous


monstrously adverb
monstrousness noun

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Costanzo played Galatea, Snouffer appeared as Aci and Tines played Polifemo, the monstrous (and monstrously jealous) cyclops. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 What Pipeline gallery later that year — or a monstrous, if misunderstood, villain. New York Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Trans people have often been portrayed as exotic, perverted and monstrous, Simpson said. CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 My Christian tradition tells me that the grossest evil resides not only in the obviously monstrous acts of Hitler, but equally in my own presumption to live apart from God, as manifested in my small, daily acts of inhumanity. WSJ, 29 Sep. 2021 Jade Daniels, a half-indigenous girl who is obsessed with slashers, perhaps because her own life is monstrous in a different way. Brenna Ehrlich, Rolling Stone, 9 Sep. 2021 The Huffman High School product had a monstrous game for Alabama, boosting his NFL stock heading into his junior season in 2010. Ben Flanagan |, al, 1 Sep. 2021 And through the years, that fight has been monstrous -- with setback after setback. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Aug. 2021 The monstrous blaze has seared more than 960,000 acres and is 86% contained. Lila Seidman, Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6


1569, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for monstrous

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monstrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for monstrous



English Language Learners Definition of monstrous

: extremely or unusually large : gigantic
: very wrong or unfair
: very ugly, cruel, or vicious


mon·​strous | \ ˈmän-strəs How to pronounce monstrous (audio) \

Kids Definition of monstrous

1 : unusually large : enormous He has a monstrous appetite.
2 : very bad or wrong a monstrous injustice
3 : very ugly, cruel, or vicious a monstrous creature

Other Words from monstrous

monstrously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on monstrous

Nglish: Translation of monstrous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monstrous for Arabic Speakers


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