from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Displeasing to the eye; unsightly.
  • adjective Repulsive or offensive; objectionable.
  • adjective Chiefly Southern US Rude.
  • adjective New England Unmanageable. Used of animals, especially cows or horses.
  • adjective Morally reprehensible; bad.
  • adjective Threatening or ominous.
  • adjective Likely to cause embarrassment or trouble.
  • adjective Marked by or inclined to anger or bad feelings; disagreeable.
  • noun One that is ugly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Unpleasing or repulsive in appearance; offensive to the sight; of very disagreeable aspect.
  • Morally repulsive or deformed; hideous; base; vile.
  • Disagreeable; offensive; suggestive of or threatening evil; associated with disadvantage or danger: as, an ugly rumor of defeat.
  • Ill-natured; cross-grained; quarrelsome; ill-conditioned.
  • Threatening painful or fatal consequences; dangerous: as, an ugly blow; an ugly cut.
  • Synonyms Unsightly, homely, ill-favored, hard-favored, hideous.
  • Cross, sulky, morose, ill-tempered, crabbed.
  • noun pl. uglies (-liz). An ugly person.
  • noun A shade for the eyes worn as an appendage to the bonnet by women about the middle of the nineteenth century. It was generally of the character of a calash, but smaller. See sunshade .
  • To make ugly; disfigure; uglify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Colloq. Eng. A shade for the face, projecting from the bonnet.
  • adjective Offensive to the sight; contrary to beauty; being of disagreeable or loathsome aspect; unsightly; repulsive; deformed.
  • adjective Colloq. U. S. Ill-natured; crossgrained; quarrelsome
  • adjective colloq. Unpleasant; disagreeable; likely to cause trouble or loss.
  • transitive verb rare To make ugly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Displeasing to the eye; not aesthetically pleasing.
  • adjective Displeasing to the ear or some other sense.
  • adjective Offensive to one's sensibilities or morality.
  • noun slang, uncountable ugliness
  • noun slang An ugly person or thing.

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

  • adjective morally reprehensible
  • adjective provoking horror
  • adjective displeasing to the senses
  • adjective inclined to anger or bad feelings with overtones of menace


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

[Middle English, frightful, repulsive, from Old Norse uggligr, from uggr, fear.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English ugly, uggely, uglike, from Old Norse uggligr ("fearful, dreadful, horrible in appearance"), from uggr ("fear, apprehension, dread") (possibly related to agg ("strife, hate")), equivalent to ug +‎ -ly. Cognate with Scots ugly, uglie, Icelandic ugglegur. Meaning softened to "very unpleasant to look at" around the late 14th century, and sense of "morally offensive" attested from around 1300.


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  • "But I _wasn't_ in fun, you ugly, naughty, _ugly_ boy," retorted Hoodie, by this time most evidently losing her temper.

    Hoodie Mrs. Molesworth 1880

  • III.v. 62 (305, 9) [Foal is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer] [W: being found] The sense of the received reading is not fairly represented; it is, _The ugly seem most ugly, when, _ though _ugly, they are scoffers.

    Notes to Shakespeare — Volume 01: Comedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • Must say the present head of Telstra would go under the title ugly american type but American's don't have a lock on arrogance. 2009

  • Adam Zeis, an editor at a website called, was wearing what he called an ugly Christmas sweater T-shirt.

    Things Got Ugly, and That Was the Point Marshall Heyman 2011

  • He testified that he worked on Sept. 11, 2001, and continued working at Ground Zero for months while engaged in what he called an "ugly" custody battle for his 14-year-old daughter.

    Officer Denies Rape Charge Tamer El-Ghobashy 2011

  • The prime minister objected to what he called ugly remarks when Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Turkey had meddled in Iraq's affairs.

    CNN Transcript Sep 30, 2006 2006

  • The prime minister objected to what he called ugly remarks when Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said Turkey had meddled in Iraq's affairs.

    CNN Transcript Oct 1, 2006 2006

  • The fact that art is constantly using what we call the ugly as well as what we call the commonplace, and turning both these into new forms of beauty, is a fact that considerably complicates the situation.

    The Complex Vision John Cowper Powys 1917

  • 'Well, I don't know what you call ugly,' he answered, 'but if you had seen her stare, you would have thought her ugly enough!

    Home Again George MacDonald 1864

  • The defense secretary's Conservative Party supporters fought back Wednesday against what they called an ugly smear campaign against the 50-year-old Fox, who married in 2005, with his former flatmate Werritty serving as best man. Top headlines 2011

  • I’m in full support of the ethos behind the David Chang-popularized term “ugly delicious”—the idea that it’s generally more important for food to taste good than it is for it to look good—and I’m mostly repulsed by the idea of “doin’ it for the ’gram,” as in Instagram, especially when it comes to food.

    The Dream of an Easy Week-Night Dinner Condé Nast 2022


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  • I always want to spell this "uggly". Does this make me a bad person?

    August 3, 2007

  • No, but it might make you a person who likes the letter G. ;->

    August 3, 2007

  • If brotherly means "like a brother," does ugly mean "like an ugh!"? So maybe it should be spelled "ughly"?

    December 2, 2007

  • "She was remarkably ugly. I mean the kind of ugly that makes me want to say she was Los Angeles ugly. She was freeway on freeway, she was concrete wall built to screen off dysfunctional slum, she was plastic palm tree behind Hollywood Boulevard. At best I could contemplate embracing her at arms' length, but the horizon is further than that."

    December 13, 2007

  • You see the boy/girl's at the bar

    Everyone thinks she's really ugly

    But I shut my eyes

    And the star of it is Photo Jenny.

    (Photo Jenny, by Belle and Sebastian)

    December 31, 2008

  • U-G-L-Y

    You ain't got no alibi

    You ugly

    Yeah, yeah

    you ugly

    June 22, 2009

  • Another definition here.

    July 17, 2009