Definitions

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

  • adjective Shockingly hideous or frightful in appearance.
  • adjective Of or resembling a fabulous monster.
  • adjective Exceptionally large; enormous.
  • adjective Extremely immoral or cruel.
  • adjective Archaic Deviating greatly from the norm in appearance or structure; abnormal.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of unnatural formation; deviating greatly from the natural form or structure; out of the common course of nature: as, a monstrous birth or production.
  • Enormous; huge; prodigious; unparalleled.
  • Shocking; hateful; horrible: as, a monstrous delusion.
  • Full of monsters or strange creatures.
  • Synonyms Abnormal.
  • Prodigious, vast, colossal, stupendous.
  • Wicked, Atrocious, etc. (see atrocious).
  • Exceedingly; extremely; wonderfully: as, monstrous difficult.

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

  • adjective obsolete Marvelous; strange.
  • adjective Having the qualities of a monster; deviating greatly from the natural form or character; abnormal.
  • adjective Extraordinary in a way to excite wonder, dislike, apprehension, etc.; -- said of size, appearance, color, sound, etc.
  • adjective Extraordinary on account of ugliness, viciousness, or wickedness; hateful; horrible; dreadful.
  • adjective rare Abounding in monsters.
  • adverb Exceedingly; very; very much.

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

  • adjective hideous or frightful
  • adjective enormously large
  • adjective freakish or grotesque
  • adjective of, or relating to a mythical monster

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

  • adjective shockingly brutal or cruel
  • adjective abnormally large
  • adjective distorted and unnatural in shape or size; abnormal and hideous

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French monstruos, from Latin mōnstruōsus, from mōnstrum, portent, monster; see monster.]

Examples

  • If I were assembling an all-star touring band called "The Monsters of Jazz," the first guy I'd call would be James Carter: At 42, the saxophonist has chops, technique, concepts and energy enough to justify several definitions of the term "monstrous."

    Classic Keys, Vital Organs

  • He said he saw the car, a red four-door, coming and the "spreader," which he called a "monstrous vehicle," locked up its brakes and "was deafening, just screeching."

    Driver charged after 5 Amish farmers killed in crash

  • He said he saw the car, a red four-door, coming and the "spreader," which he called a "monstrous vehicle," locked up its brakes and "was deafening, just screeching."

    Driver charged after 5 Amish farmers killed in crash

  • Tennis star Martina Hingis (ph) abruptly retired today while denying what she called monstrous accusations that she tested positive for cocaine during this year's Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.

    CNN Transcript Nov 1, 2007

  • He said he saw the car, a red four-door, coming and the "spreader," which he called a "monstrous vehicle," locked up its brakes and "was deafening, just screeching."

    USATODAY.com News

  • Among what they called your monstrous follies, which was the worst, the most damnable?

    The Wandering Jew — Volume 06

  • Among what they called your monstrous follies, which was the worst, the most damnable?

    The Wandering Jew — Complete

  • The only reason I don't consider Card monstrous is because I think he's sick.

    "What do YOU do when your favorite author turns out to be a puppy-kicker?"

  • While certain monstrous characters might not be exactly protagonists, Gwen's conflict is more intangible than, say, making sure she stakes the right vampire.

    'I, Zombie' is new creature feature from Vertigo Comics

  • It is also asked whether we are to believe that certain monstrous races of men, spoken of in secular history, have sprung from Noah's sons, or rather, I should say, from that one man from whom they themselves were descended.

    September 2nd, 2009

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  • Mrs Jennings soon came in. "Oh! Colonel," said she, with her usual noisy cheerfulness. "I am monstrous glad to see you-..."

    July 9, 2010