Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Repulsive, especially to the sight; revoltingly ugly. See Synonyms at ugly.
  • adj. Offensive to moral sensibilities; despicable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Frightful; shocking; extremely ugly.
  • adj. Distressing or offensive to the ear; horrible.
  • adj. Hateful; shocking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Frightful, shocking, or offensive to the eyes; dreadful to behold.
  • adj. Distressing or offensive to the ear; exciting terror or dismay.
  • adj. Hateful; shocking.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Frightful in appearance, sound, or character; very dreadful; horrible; detestable; revolting: as, a hideous monster; a hideous uproar; hideous debauchery.
  • Synonyms Grim, Grisly, etc. (see ghastly); horrid, terrible, appalling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. grossly offensive to decency or morality; causing horror
  • adj. so extremely ugly as to be terrifying

Etymologies

Middle English, variant of hidous, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French hide, hisde, fear, possibly of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hidous, from Anglo-Norman hidous, from Old French hideus, hydus ("that which inspires terror"), from earlier hisdos, from hisda ("horror, fear"), of uncertain and disputed origin. Probably from Frankish *egisda, *egisida (“terror, fright”), from Proto-Germanic *agisiþō (“horror, terror”), from Proto-Germanic *agisōnan (“to frighten, terrorise”), from Proto-Germanic *agaz (“terror, fear”), from Proto-Indo-European *aǵʰ-, *agʰ- (“to frighten”). Cognate with Old High German egisa, egidī ("horror"), Old English egesa ("fear, dread"), Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌹𐍃 (agis, "fear, terror"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pretty much all of this has what you describe as hideous consequences.

    John Terry’s sacking as England captain tells us something interesting...

  • "Interesting" is what you call the hideous dress one's wife asks you to critique.

    The Truth About Cars

  • Even more hideous is the declared involvement in these proceedings at Guantánamo of qualified medical practitioners.

    Torture II

  • To me, Free Dress Days were forceful reminders of why I was grateful to spend 99% of my school time in hideous polyester ensembles of polo shirts and Dockers.

    Archive: Oct 08 - Mar 09

  • Sometimes this can go as far as that character based on you being tortured or killed in hideous ways.

    Why Date or Marry a Writer? « Write Anything

  • And I couldn't go around announcing "I'm in hideous pain, feels like a giant bird has its claws in my neck," so I had to pretend I felt just like everyone else at parties and meetings.

    mrissa: Hollywood broken leg theory

  • The grape vine is climbing up the berry tree and the blackberry is having a pissing contest with something hideous from the neighbour's side of the fence about who has the biggest brambles.

    wonderful new invention

  • Their faces and bodies were tattooed or scarred in hideous designs.

    Chapter 1

  • When an industry acts in hideous ways toward people, then we do need government to intervene.

    Poll: Obama drops on health care

  • In its grimmest aspects, misogyny manifests itself in hideous violence — from brutal beatings and rape to outright torture and murder.

    Archive 2008-01-01

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