Definitions

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

  • adj. Arousing or tending to arouse horror; dreadful: "War is beyond all words horrible” ( Winston S. Churchill).
  • adj. Very unpleasant; disagreeable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thing that causes horror; a terrifying thing, particularly a prospective bad consequence asserted as likely to result from an act.
  • n. A person wearing a comic or grotesque costume in a parade of horribles.
  • adj. Causing horror; terrible; shocking.
  • adj. Tremendously wrong or errant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Exciting, or tending to excite, horror or fear; dreadful; terrible; shocking; hideous

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Exciting or tending to excite horror; dreadful; terrible: as, a horrible sight; horrible cruelty; a horrible story.
  • Hideous; shocking; extremely repulsive: as, horrible deformity; a horrible smell.
  • Synonyms Execrable, Abominable, etc. (see nefarious); frightful, fearful, horrid, awful, revolting.

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

  • adj. provoking horror

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin horribilis, from horrēre, to tremble.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in Middle English (alternately as horrible and orrible)[2] in 1303[3]: from Old French[1][2] horrible[3], from Latin horribilis[1][2][3], from horr(ēre) ("bristle with fear[2][3]; shudder[3]; stand on end[2]; tremble[1]") + -ibilis ("-ible")[2]. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Oh, let me tell thee all—more than this, something still more horrible, more horrible——!

    I. The Little Shoe. Book XI

  • Earlier Tuesday, Italy recalled its ambassador to Syria, citing what it called the "horrible repression of the civilian population."

    UN Debates Resolution Condemning Syria As Unrest Continues

  • ANDERSON: Marc ` s struggles began with what he describes as a horrible childhood.

    CNN Transcript Aug 17, 2007

  • ANDERSON: Marc ` s struggles began with what we describes as a horrible childhood.

    CNN Transcript Jul 2, 2007

  • The real irony is that right after having what they defined as a horrible experience with the blogs i.e., people were mean, the Post decides to embrace "the blogs" by nuzzling up to its worst elements, right-winger bloggers.

    03/22/2006

  • McCourt, sitting beside his son, also said he feels it's unfair for the league to assert control over his property based on turmoil in his personal life, which he described as "horrible."

    MarketWatch.com - Top Stories

  • The divorced dad has two young daughters and what he calls a horrible dating life, some of which will be shown to

    Thestar.com - Home Page

  • On Wednesday, Cohen candidly discussed what he called a horrible period in his life with CBS

    WBBM CBS 2 Chicago Top Videos Videos

  • Chiarelli says Fort Campbell has the most aggressive suicide prevention program in the Army, but that has not stopped what he calls a horrible spike - 11 suicides at this one base since the first of the year.

    Breaking News: CBS News

  • It sounds like they may be training to prepare for that type of operation in an Afgan or Iraqi village - nonetheless, it is still horrible from a public relations perspective - they either need to better explain the purpose and intent of the training or find a better location for it.

    Carroll National Guard To Conduct Door To Door Gun Confiscation Drills in Arcadia, Iowa......

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