variants also grewsome

Synonym Chooser

How is the word gruesome different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of gruesome are ghastly, grisly, lurid, and macabre. While all these words mean "horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect," grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty.

an unusually grisly murder
suffered a gruesome death

Where would ghastly be a reasonable alternative to gruesome?

The words ghastly and gruesome can be used in similar contexts, but ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts.

a ghastly accident

How do lurid and gruesome relate to one another?

Lurid adds to gruesome the suggestion of shuddering fascination with violent death and especially with murder.

the lurid details of a crime

When can macabre be used instead of gruesome?

While the synonyms macabre and gruesome are close in meaning, macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death.

a macabre tale of premature burial

Thesaurus Entries Near gruesome

Cite this Entry

“Gruesome.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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