Definition of horrible in English:



  • 1Causing or likely to cause horror; shocking.

    ‘a horrible massacre’
    • ‘Did they think these things were so horrible and awful that they hid them from their prized Healer?’
    • ‘I think we are all waiting for someone to wake us and say it was just a horrible nightmare.’
    • ‘There were all these intricate diagrams of horrible shackles and thumbscrews.’
    • ‘It is almost too painful to watch: a horrible enactment of their dual, private hell.’
    • ‘She will never be able to forget it, never be free from the horrible memory that this attack will leave her with.’
    • ‘Fox squeezed his eyes shut and desperately tried to tell himself that this was all a horrible nightmare.’
    • ‘Thus the average person can be persuaded to do horrible things in the name of morality.’
    • ‘While the world around us is devastated by such horrible things, we watch on.’
    • ‘With John, I can't feel much about his death apart from how horrible and terrible it was.’
    • ‘He could not believe that someone, anyone, would do such a horrible thing to such a great country.’
    • ‘Sure, some will die a horrible gruesome death, but it's only what a fox would do to another animal.’
    • ‘At times the world is so horrible that continuing to see the bright side becomes hideously difficult.’
    • ‘The nobleman goes on to host orgies, untouched by grief or remorse, until his horrible death.’
    • ‘It's a horrible, horrible disease, because you never know where it is going to strike next.’
    • ‘A bitter confrontation ensued which he chose to end in the most horrible way.’
    • ‘Our own children and grandchildren have come to haunt us in the most horrible manner.’
    • ‘The horrible memory had temporarily overtaken her but now she was back in reality.’
    • ‘In fact I think that horrible as it was, that one was a much smaller disaster.’
    • ‘Some of them are horrible but then again we watch horror movies and read horror stories.’
    • ‘I can see me lying in a pool of blood as the last scene in this awful, horrible drama.’
    dreadful, horrifying, horrific, horrendous, frightful, fearful, awful, terrible, shocking, appalling, hideous, grim, grisly, ghastly, harrowing, gruesome, heinous, vile, nightmarish, macabre, unspeakable, hair-raising, spine-chilling
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Very unpleasant.
      ‘the tea tasted horrible’
      • ‘So on the morning of the big day I woke up bright and early after suffering a horrible night.’
      • ‘My stomach deflated and the horrible bloated feeling I had woken with was gone.’
      • ‘I want to buy cute summer dresses, not horrible trouser suits with tapered legs.’
      • ‘I have a horrible habit of correcting people if they lie in front of me and I catch them.’
      • ‘We have seen it very graphically by the use of what is a horrible expression, I think, soft skills.’
      • ‘After my fourth baby was born, a photographer took a picture of me on the beach with horrible cellulite.’
      • ‘Karachi had been seeing some horrible heat and humidity until a couple of days ago.’
      • ‘She said the smell of the old grass cuttings turning to mulch was horrible.’
      • ‘I think it is a tribute to the performances that the heat was horrible but didn't detract from the show.’
      • ‘Right, that's me done and my fingers and eyes need soothing after tapping away on a horrible laptop.’
      • ‘I did decide to go in the end and as expected the drive there was horrible.’
      • ‘I didn't start out hating them, but the parade of horrible behaviour on show has changed my mind.’
      • ‘I suspect this was due to a horrible hangover and my lack of interest in small talk.’
      • ‘He thinks that being horrible to immigrants will secure the Sun readers' vote.’
      • ‘Everybody always used to eat porridge in Scotland and then we went onto the horrible sugary cereals.’
      • ‘It was a horrible gameshow in which the contestants' children were put in danger as their price of entry.’
      • ‘While in hospital he was given build-up drinks which he disliked, and the food was horrible.’
      • ‘He tells himself that he is stupid if he thinks anyone as nice as his neighbor would go out with someone as horrible as him.’
      • ‘There was a horrible crunching noise which turned out to be The Chief's dentures cracking in two.’
      • ‘It does, however, taste so horrible that nobody could eat enough to cause death.’
      nasty, disagreeable, unpleasant, horrid, awful, dreadful, terrible, appalling, horrendous, disgusting, foul, revolting, repulsive, repellent, ghastly
      View synonyms


Middle English: via Old French from Latin horribilis, from horrere tremble, shudder (see horrid).