Definitions

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

  • adjective Repulsive, especially to the sight; revolting. synonym: ugly.
  • adjective Morally offensive; detestable.
  • adjective Causing great harm or fear; terrible.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, variant of hidous, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French hide, hisde, fear, possibly of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

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

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

    Chapter 1

  • 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

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

    Poll: Obama drops on health care

  • 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

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

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • 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

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

    Torture II

  • 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

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