American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Characterized by or fraught with something dreadful; of a dire nature or appearance: as, a direful fiend; a direful misfortune.
- Synonyms See list under dire.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Dire; dreadful; terrible; calamitous; woeful.
- adj. causing fear or dread or terror
- dire + -ful (Wiktionary)
“The beginning was not easy, it was even "direful," and "methought" I should die of despair; but now things are going, I am all right, come what may!”
“While you diligently pursued that favorite phantom of yours, called profits, and moralized about that favorite fetich of yours, called competition, even greater and more direful things have been accomplished by combination.”
“This he took in good part, and was really pleased, nodding his head with direful foreknowledge and mystery, until George Leach, the erstwhile cabin-boy, ventured some rough pleasantry on the subject.”
“If it may lead any portion of the public to learn Better to distinguish than hitherto Between those who have plunged us into such a war and so long kept us in it and those who would have prevented our ever rushing into that direful whirlpool I have my chief object.”
“The Road could be classified as science-fiction for the near-future setting and prophetic look of a world turned to ash, and it could be classified as horror for the suspense and direful moments the characters must endure -- two genres I'm sure McCarthy would prefer to keep at a distance from his work.”
“It's a direful thing to have in your hands, a desiccated version of Lady Gaga's skirt-steak dress.”
“He would delight them equally by his anecdotes of witchcraft, and of the direful omens and portentous sights and sounds in the air…”
“Songs, "three yards for a penny," were always safe; but when doubtful stories were promulgated, Jemmy directed his patterers to work new districts far distant from where the direful deeds were supposed to originate.”
“A meeting, thus circumstanced, with her Father, at a moment when he came upon so direful a business, as parting with a place of which she had herself occasioned the desertion, seemed to her insupportable: and she resolved to return immediately to Belfont, to see there if her answer from”
“Loud again sounded the same direful voice: 'These are thy deserts; write now thy claims: – and next, – and quick, – turn over the immortal leaves, and read thy doom – Oh, no!' she cried, 'Oh, no!' ...”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘direful’.
looks like there's not an open Moby Dick list. So now there is.
Interesting words and usages.
Looking for tweets for direful.