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 intensivea 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 When it was released in 1987, The Monster Squad accrued less than monstrous takings at the box office. Clark Collis,, "The Monster Squad returns in trailer for documentary Wolfman's Got Nards," 28 Sep. 2020 In every state that has so far seen a large spike of COVID-19 cases, there has been a moment when the early signs of an uptick are detectable—but a monstrous outbreak is not yet assured. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Worst Possible Time for an Outbreak in Wisconsin," 26 Sep. 2020 Last year at the 2019 Amazon Devices event, a monstrous amount of devices were announced. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Amazon’s Fall 2020 Devices launch event is happening right now," 24 Sep. 2020 Given their history pretty much ever since blowing that monstrous lead in the second half of the 2017 Super Bowl, maybe that's understandable. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "Life at 40-plus: Brady vs Brees is tastiest of NFL matchups," 12 Sep. 2020 Officials also saw further growth in the monstrous August Complex fire, already the largest in state history. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Sad, tragic loss for all Californians’: Death toll in state’s wildfires at 20," 12 Sep. 2020 With tow-in surfing, athletes go out in teams of two or three, one driving the tow jet ski, and one watching to perform rescue when a surfer inevitably crashes out, pounded by the incredible force of those monstrous waves. Maggie Mertens, The Atlantic, "This Woman Surfed the Biggest Wave of the Year," 12 Sep. 2020 The country has a long, often terrifying history of folklore involving monstrous supernatural cats. Zack Davisson, Smithsonian Magazine, "Japan’s Love-Hate Relationship with Cats," 11 Sep. 2020 The sand transforms everyone in the city into monstrous creatures. Nick Romano,, "Prince of Persia returning with The Sands of Time remake," 10 Sep. 2020

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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Statistics for monstrous

Last Updated

1 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Monstrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for monstrous


How to pronounce monstrous (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of monstrous

: extremely or unusually large
: 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 : having the qualities or appearance of a monster The monstrous creature approached.

Other Words from monstrous

monstrously adverb

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