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

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 Joe Sirard, a weather service meteorologist in Oxnard, noted that the monstrous Thomas fire of 2017 ignited in early December under similar conditions. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2021 In a weird way, Beth imagining the worst version of her husband, the most monstrous version of him, is almost easier to process than the reality of what happened. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, 17 Aug. 2021 Actually inhabiting that monstrous form, though, proved a daunting challenge for the 70-year-old Swedish actor, who had to be fitted with 80 pounds of prosthetics and makeup each day. Josh Rottenberg, Los Angeles Times, 22 Oct. 2021 They were initially buoyed by the opportunity to make a meaningful individual contribution in the face of monstrous danger. Marion Renault, The New Republic, 21 Oct. 2021 However, the Bills are far from the first victim of a monstrous running back on pace to break Eric Dickerson's rushing record and the season-long efficiency numbers suggest Week 6 will prove an anomaly for Buffalo's defense. Nicholas Mcgee, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 Lenane, who finished tied for fourth when Xaverian won the section in 2019, birdied his third hole, No. 14, a monstrous 563-yard par-5, then put together back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes., 20 Oct. 2021 The Duke, on orders from the Emperor, is to take charge of the planet, which is home to monstrous sandworms, enigmatic Bedouin-like inhabitants and an addictive, highly valuable resource called spice. New York Times, 20 Oct. 2021 The only Mustang that's quicker is the Shelby GT500 with its monstrous 760-horsepower supercharged V8. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 20 Oct. 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

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The first known use of monstrous was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monstrous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for monstrous



English Language Learners Definition of monstrous

: extremely or unusually large : gigantic
: 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 : very ugly, cruel, or vicious a monstrous creature

Other Words from monstrous

monstrously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on monstrous

Nglish: Translation of monstrous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of monstrous for Arabic Speakers


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