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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. Browna 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

Example Sentences

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
Condo’s brilliant draftsmanship through a cast of characters in turn comic, monstrous, tragic, and endearing. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, 6 Jan. 2023 If school protections could absolutely protect against monstrous acts, a shooter intent on harming others would turn his attention to more accessible targets such as malls, theaters, churches, parks. Anchorage Daily News, 29 May 2022 Its share of cases is growing even amid a monstrous surge in cases from the extremely transmissible delta variant. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 15 Dec. 2021 The Salt Bae of Gothic fantasy, director Tim Burton sprinkles his strange seasoning — a deep fondness for the monstrous — on this series about the supernatural school days of solemnly ghoulish Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega). Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2022 The streets of Chicago seem overpopulated with multiple shadow societies, some noble, some monstrous, all inscrutable. Darren Franich,, 8 Sep. 2022 Davis has posted four straight double-doubles with the last three being monstrous. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 22 Nov. 2022 Read on for my prediction and pick for this monstrous SEC battle. Tanner Mcgrath, Chicago Tribune, 5 Nov. 2022 Teaming up with Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau), Swamp Thing takes on Arcane, resulting in a truly monstrous battle between the two. Will Harris,, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

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 27 Jan. 2023.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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