ugly

1 of 2

adjective

ug·​ly ˈə-glē How to pronounce ugly (audio)
uglier; ugliest
1
a
: offensive to the sight : hideous
b
: offensive or unpleasant to any sense
2
: morally offensive or objectionable
corruption—the ugliest stain of all
3
a
: likely to cause inconvenience or discomfort
the ugly truth
b
: surly, quarrelsome
an ugly disposition
4
uglily adverb

ugly

2 of 2

adverb

: in an ugly manner
was acting ugly

Examples of ugly in a Sentence

Adjective an ugly shade of green They avoided what could have been an ugly situation. He has an ugly disposition.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
When the West was facing a totalitarian enemy determined to remake humanity in its image, some pretty ugly means could, apparently, be justified. Hal Brands, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Editor’s Note: Featuring the good, the bad and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a regular series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfit of the last seven days. Leah Dolan, CNN, 16 Feb. 2024 While his comment this time around wasn’t cited as many as particularly ugly, Swift likely doesn’t want to be involved in the project at all. Hugh McIntyre, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Zelensky had every right to fire his top general, but the politics could get ugly. Kori Schake, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 An ugly break-up, getting kicked out of the house, or finding little success in job-searching may bring an 18-year-old into the recruiter’s office. Luther Ray Abel, National Review, 9 Feb. 2024 Over the months, the strike has taken some ugly turns. Suhauna Hussain, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 Things got ugly, but Reddit still ushered in the changes, resulting in mounds of third-party Reddit apps announcing their permanent closure. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 1 Feb. 2024 And after hanging around all game, the Wildcats did just enough to come out on top in an ugly overtime iteration of the Sunflower Showdown. Shreyas Laddha, Kansas City Star, 6 Feb. 2024
Adverb
And when things went a little wayward — even when the Wolves were winning ugly in recent weeks — Finch was the first one to call them out. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, 6 Jan. 2024 The most and least trustworthy of the lot The good, bad, and ugly find a new name in politics, the media, and pharmacists. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 5 Feb. 2024 That Dallas defense is going to be swarming and this could get ugly early. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2023 My intention was to make Emily a human being who’s flawed, and messy, and has ambitions and desires, and is forced to play ugly to survive in the workplace and in love. Marlow Stern, Rolling Stone, 8 Oct. 2023 But like, that ugly sobbing of just years of all of this trauma pouring out of my eyes. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 5 Oct. 2023 Auburn might have won ugly, but at least the Tigers didn’t lose badly. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 12 Sep. 2023 The laundromat became the center of the picture’s multiple universes, the site of the emotionally heavy moments that helped turn ugly crying to the movie into a meme. Jonah Valdez, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2023 Worse, the immune system can turn ugly and attack mushy cholesterol plaques in arteries. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 17 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Old Norse uggligr, from uggr fear; akin to Old Norse ugga to fear

First Known Use

Adjective

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ugly was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near ugly

Cite this Entry

“Ugly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ugly. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

ugly

adjective
ug·​ly
ˈəg-lē
uglier; ugliest
1
: horrid or unpleasant especially to the sight : unsightly, hideous
2
3
a
: likely to cause bother or discomfort : troublesome
an ugly situation
b
: quarrelsome
an ugly disposition
ugliness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ugly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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