Definitions

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

  • adj. Displeasing to the eye; unsightly.
  • adj. Repulsive or offensive; objectionable: an ugly remark.
  • adj. Chiefly Southern U.S. Rude: Don't be ugly with me.
  • adj. New England Unmanageable. Used of animals, especially cows or horses.
  • adj. Morally reprehensible; bad.
  • adj. Threatening or ominous: ugly black clouds.
  • adj. Likely to cause embarrassment or trouble: "Public opinion in both nations could take an ugly turn” ( George R. Packard).
  • adj. Marked by or inclined to anger or bad feelings; disagreeable: an ugly temper; an ugly scene.
  • n. Informal One that is ugly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Displeasing to the eye; not aesthetically pleasing.
  • adj. Displeasing to the ear or some other sense.
  • adj. Offensive to one's sensibilities or morality.
  • n. ugliness
  • n. An ugly person or thing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Offensive to the sight; contrary to beauty; being of disagreeable or loathsome aspect; unsightly; repulsive; deformed.
  • adj. Ill-natured; crossgrained; quarrelsome
  • adj. Unpleasant; disagreeable; likely to cause trouble or loss.
  • n. A shade for the face, projecting from the bonnet.
  • transitive v. To make ugly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. pl. uglies (-liz). An ugly person.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

Middle English, frightful, repulsive, from Old Norse uggligr, from uggr, fear.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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

    Hoodie

  • 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

  • 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.

    Whirlpool.net.au

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

    Things Got Ugly, and That Was the Point

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • '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

  • 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.

    msnbc.com: Top msnbc.com headlines

  • He did not elaborate or describe what he meant by the word "ugly."

    NYT > Home Page

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Comments

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  • Another definition here.

    July 17, 2009

  • U-G-L-Y
    You ain't got no alibi
    You ugly
    Yeah, yeah
    you ugly

    June 22, 2009

  • 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

  • "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

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

    December 2, 2007

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

    August 3, 2007

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

    August 3, 2007