Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of macabre are ghastly, grisly, gruesome, and lurid. While all these words mean "horrifying and repellent in appearance or aspect," macabre implies a morbid preoccupation with the physical aspects of death.

a macabre tale of premature burial

When would ghastly be a good substitute for macabre?

The synonyms ghastly and macabre are sometimes interchangeable, but ghastly suggests the terrifying aspects of corpses and ghosts.

a ghastly accident

How are the words grisly and gruesome related as synonyms of macabre?

Both grisly and gruesome suggest additionally the results of extreme violence or cruelty.

an unusually grisly murder
suffered a gruesome death

How do lurid and gruesome relate to one another, in the sense of macabre?

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

the lurid details of a crime


Thesaurus Entries Near macabre

Cite this Entry

“Macabre.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

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