Thesaurus

dreadful

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of dreadful

  1. 1 causing fear a dreadful hurricane Synonyms alarming, dire, direful, dread, fearful, fearsome, forbidding, formidable, frightening, frightful, ghastly, hair-raising, horrendous, horrible, horrifying, intimidating, redoubtable, scary, shocking, spine-chilling, terrible, terrifyingRelated Words daunting, demoralizing, disconcerting, discouraging, dismaying, disquieting, distressing, disturbing, perturbing, startling, threatening, troubling, trying, unnerving; bone-chilling, creepy, eerie (also eery), weird; appalling, atrocious, awful, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), hideous, horrid, macabre, monstrous, nightmarishNear Antonyms calming, comforting, consoling, inviting, lulling, pacifying, quieting, reassuring, relaxing, soothing, tranquilizing (also tranquillizing); nonintimidating, nonthreatening

  2. 2 causing intense displeasure, disgust, or resentment a dreadful performance of a beautiful piece of music Synonyms abhorrent, abominable, appalling, awful, disgusting, distasteful, offensive, evil, foul, fulsome, gross, hideous, horrendous, horrible, horrid, loathsome, nasty, nauseating, nauseous, noisome, noxious, obnoxious, obscene, odious, rancid, repellent (also repellant), repugnant, repulsive, revolting, scandalous, shocking, sickening, uglyRelated Words exceptionable, objectionable; brackish, disagreeable, dislikable (also dislikeable), unpleasant; contemptible, despicable, detestable, hard, hateful; unhealthy, unsavory, unwholesome; execrable, lousy, miserable; atrocious, frightful, ghastly, grim, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), heinous, horrendous, horrific, horrifying, lurid, macabre, monstrous, nightmarish, shocking, sick, sickish, sickly, terrible, unspeakable, vile; off-putting, undesirable, unwanted, unwelcome; barbarous, unchristian, uncivilized, ungodly, unholy; distressing, disturbing, upsettingNear Antonyms acceptable, agreeable, alluring, appealing, attractive, blessed (also blest), congenial, darling, delectable, delicious, delightful, delightsome, desirable, dreamy, dulcet, enjoyable, felicitous, gratifying, heavenly, inviting, likable (or likeable), luscious, nice, palatable, pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, savory (also savoury), sweet, welcome; unexceptionable, unobjectionable; healthful, healthy, restorative, salubrious, salutary, wholesomeAntonyms innocuous, inoffensive

  3. 3 extremely disturbing or repellent dreadful news of a crime wave in the neighborhood Synonyms appalling, atrocious, awful, horrible, frightful, ghastly, grisly, gruesome (also grewsome), hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrific, horrifying, lurid, macabre, monstrous, nightmare, nightmarish, shocking, terrible, terrificRelated Words alarming, bloodcurdling, dire, direful, fearful, fearsome, forbidding, formidable, frightening, gut-wrenching, hair-raising, heart-stopping, intimidating, redoubtable, scary, terrifying; abhorrent, deplorable, disagreeable, disgusting, distasteful, loathsome, nauseating, noisome, obnoxious, obscene, offensive, repugnant, repulsive, revolting, sickening; abominable, evil, foul, heinous, noxious, odious, unspeakable, vile; grotesque, ugly, unsightlyNear Antonyms agreeable, appealing, attractive, delectable, delicious, delightful, enjoyable, enticing, inviting, pleasant, pleasing, pleasurable, satisfying, welcome; cheering, comforting, soothing

  4. 4 extreme in degree, power, or effect the dreadful heat of the desert Synonyms acute, almighty, blistering, deep, intense, excruciating, explosive, exquisite, fearful, fearsome, ferocious, fierce, frightful, furious, ghastly, hard, heavy, heavy-duty, hellacious, intensive, keen, profound, terrible, vehement, vicious, violentRelated Words accentuated, aggravated, concentrated, deepened; emphasized, enhanced, heightened, intensified, magnified; stressed; exhaustive, thorough; harsh, rigorous, severeNear Antonyms feeble, weak; shallow, superficial; moderated, qualified; alleviated, eased, lightened, toned (down); abated, decreased, diminished, lessened, reduced, subduedAntonyms light, moderate, soft

  5. 5 having no exceptions or restrictions made a dreadful mess of his first marriage Synonyms all-out, arrant, blank, blooming [chiefly British], bodacious [Southern & Midland], categorical (also categoric), clean, complete, consummate, cotton-picking, crashing, damn, damned, dead, deadly, definite, downright, absolute, fair, flat, flat-out, out-and-out, outright, perfect, plumb, profound, pure, rank, regular, sheer, simple, stark, stone, straight-out, thorough, thoroughgoing, total, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unmitigated, unqualified, utter, veryRelated Words authentic, classic, genuine, real, veritable; constant, endless, eternal, perpetual, undying, unremitting; extreme, unrestricted; confirmed, habitual, hopeless, inveterate; extraordinary, frightful, horrible, huge, main, superlative, supreme, surpassing, terrible, terrificNear Antonyms doubtful, dubious, equivocal, qualified, questionable, restricted, uncertain


Learn More about dreadful


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dreadful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

sad or melancholy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • istock-refers-to-this-as-a-tumble-of-strawberries-which-sounded-pretty-nice-to-us
  • Which is a synonym of garner?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!