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 Hollywood’s history is littered with the casualties of a system that rewarded monstrous behavior, as is its present. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Hollywood loves making excuses for bullies. Here are some of the most damaging," 12 Apr. 2021 The trial of Derek Chauvin, accused of murder, illustrates how even some people who are supposed to protect and serve can be monstrous. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, "Opinion: East Tennessee State coach, players deserve praise, not scorn, for protesting during anthem," 3 Apr. 2021 The woods have become her own monstrous creation, an eerie hybrid of nature and technology that keens and croaks and seemingly traps whoever comes near. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Ben Wheatley’s ‘In the Earth’ summons the elemental nature of folk horror," 15 Apr. 2021 Each member of the family deals with their own specific spectre, like the monstrous, tap-dancing blackface figure with pupil-less black eyes that haunts Henry. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, "Them Is Pure Degradation Porn," 14 Apr. 2021 And, of course, Zion, who bullied Cleveland throughout the night and punctuated a monstrous performance with a powerful two-handed dunk in the closing seconds. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers nearly pull off improbable upset before fading late and falling to New Orleans Pelicans, 116-109," 11 Apr. 2021 Her remarkable story beings with a monstrous tragedy. al, "Gaston’s ReAnna Watson becomes ‘perfect person’ despite tragedy," 10 Apr. 2021 As a result, websites, apps and account statements will be showing monstrous performance that’s nothing more than a happenstance of the calendar. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "Don’t Be Fooled by This Stock Market’s Newest Magic Trick," 9 Apr. 2021 Both were fervent Catholics, and both were monstrous parents. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Niki de Saint Phalle: Nothing More Shocking Than Joy," 8 Apr. 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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Statistics for monstrous

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monstrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for monstrous



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

Comments on monstrous

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