Definition of appal in English:


(US appall)


  • Greatly dismay or horrify:

    ‘bankers are appalled at the economic incompetence of some ministers’
    ‘Alison looked at me, appalled’
    • ‘I was appalled to discover that my evening out was going to double in price.’
    • ‘He is appalled at the lack of courteous response and civil helpfulness that he took for granted in his younger life.’
    • ‘Should they be appalled because of the lack of respect the artist has shown towards a human body?’
    • ‘I was similarly appalled at the condition of the park on my last visit to my home village two years ago.’
    • ‘She was appalled at the condition of the place, but at least it kept them out of the cold and rain.’
    • ‘Those who aren't outraged are merely appalled, if not by the lyrics, by the production.’
    • ‘I came back hoping to hear good things and I am appalled that it has fallen apart this way.’
    • ‘I returned to the car within two hours, and was appalled to see this penalty notice.’
    • ‘Residents living close to where it is proposed to build the facility are appalled.’
    • ‘Xu was so appalled at the news that she decided to quit her habit of eating at roadside food stands.’
    • ‘Pensioners' charities and lobby groups are appalled at the problems we are storing up for the future.’
    • ‘My mother was appalled that we had even contemplated taking Percy to the vet to be put down.’
    • ‘Patricia said she is appalled that she was left stranded to deal with the crisis herself.’
    • ‘He looked shocked and appalled by this and turned his attention onto Alex.’
    • ‘It was things like the absence of drinks and the sheer lack of respect for elderly people, which appalled me.’
    • ‘On the other hand, most readers would probably be appalled and aghast at this stuff.’
    • ‘Residents in Victoria Street were today appalled that such a crime occurred on their doorsteps.’
    • ‘One mother of two boys, said she had been appalled at the choice of subject matter.’
    • ‘He would also have been appalled that homegrown players had so quickly adopted the cheating tendency.’
    • ‘She is appalled to see him stand before them with folded hands and humbly assert that he was fine.’
    horrify, shock, dismay, distress greatly, outrage, scandalize, alarm
    make someone's blood run cold, make someone's hair stand on end
    disgust, repel, revolt, sicken, nauseate, offend
    View synonyms


Middle English: from Old French apalir grow pale, from a- (from Latin ad to, at) + palir to pale. The original sense was ‘grow pale’, later ‘make pale’, hence ‘horrify’( late Middle English).