Definition of monstrous in English:



  • 1Having the ugly or frightening appearance of a monster.

    ‘monstrous, bug-eyed fish’
    • ‘There were cries of excitement and horror as a monstrous serpent and a giant spider came on to the train, sending shivers down one's spine.’
    • ‘Then he opens his robe to reveal to Scrooge two hideous and monstrous children that cling to the ghost's robe.’
    • ‘She may have had a beautiful, attractive body but once the fan went down, you would see a horrible, gruesome, monstrous, ugly face.’
    • ‘Some are like horses, others like monstrous turtles, many resemble wicked snakes, and the list continues.’
    • ‘Then, bursting out from behind the trees, the same monstrous face appeared beneath a dark hood.’
    • ‘Soon other beasties are popping up, and Roger is forced to deal with the house's evil apparitions and monstrous demons.’
    • ‘Grendel lives, with his monstrous mother, at the bottom of a foul lake, which a variety of other monsters inhabit.’
    • ‘After a good night's rest, the couple resume their journey appearing more refreshed and less monstrous.’
    • ‘She regarded the monstrous creature with wide, terrified eyes of pure confusion.’
    • ‘The next moment a hideous, grinding speech, as of some monstrous machine running without oil, burst from the big telescreen at the end of the room.’
    • ‘Then I locked into a better fish that I thought must be a roach but I was to be proved wrong when a monstrous dace came to the surface.’
    • ‘In a bid to protect herself she invents an imaginary friend - a huge, monstrous beast called the Gruffalo.’
    • ‘She was in no state to argue, nor to mask herself as a horrible monstrous creation.’
    • ‘Using its enormous head, the monstrous creature rammed a gaping hole in the wall.’
    • ‘Their masks are slovenly and childish - many are monstrous; none of them can see how grotesque they are.’
    • ‘Something lived in that house, thought the oldest kids in the neighborhood, something dark, evil, monstrous.’
    • ‘Overhead them was a huge, monstrous and extremely ugly bird drooling over them.’
    • ‘Its appearance seemed to represent a monstrous wolf, with long brown fur that swept down its back and belly.’
    • ‘It was from this odd dream that Jane woke to a spectre moving about in her room, the form of a hideous and monstrous woman emerging from her very own closet.’
    • ‘In nineteenth-century France several freak shows were banned for fear that the shocking spectacles would cause women to bear monstrous children.’
    grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible, horrid, horrific, horrendous, horrifying, grisly, disgusting, repulsive, repellent, revolting, nightmarish, dreadful, frightening, terrifying, fearsome, freakish, malformed, misshapen, unnatural, abnormal, mutant, miscreated
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  • 2Inhumanly or outrageously evil or wrong.

    ‘he wasn't lovable, he was monstrous and violent’
    ‘it is a monstrous waste of money’
    • ‘These bogus safety issues and courses are a monstrous waste of money.’
    • ‘They deem insignificant sins that the church considered monstrous only a few generations ago.’
    • ‘The destruction of someone's home is a huge and monstrous punishment - was their ‘crime’ really that bad?’
    • ‘They say that he has treated his own people with such monstrous disregard for human life that we cannot assume he will be deterred by a threat to destroy his nation in time of war.’
    • ‘But what of a wicked lord who hides his monstrous desire for rule and seduces a nation - as well as its queen - into electing him to the highest office in the land?’
    • ‘How could such a cruel, monstrous decision exist on the earth?’
    • ‘But I'm still troubled by the fact that they could even consider doing something so monstrous.’
    • ‘There was something incredibly monstrous about the inhuman way it could not be stopped.’
    • ‘The 1994 genocide in Rwanda is a monstrous atrocity hanging over the conscience of the world.’
    • ‘Any country that would even seriously consider such a monstrous act certainly isn't going to be shown mercy when war is brought to its civilian population.’
    • ‘It is the horribly ordinary condition of militarised men made monstrous by war.’
    • ‘I think virtually everyone in the contemporary world would find such a project morally monstrous.’
    • ‘To those involved in any way with this monstrous evil, I say to you that this is your first and only chance.’
    • ‘One's first reaction, apart from deep grief, is outrage that such a monstrous attack against innocent civilians, against children is possible.’
    • ‘But that rage alone is not enough to drive people to monstrous acts of violence.’
    • ‘It was denounced by one outraged commentator as ‘a monstrous departure from the dignity and propriety of journalism’.’
    • ‘It is monstrous because it is morally bankrupt to threaten nuclear holocaust against millions of innocent persons and against the center of a world religion.’
    • ‘Besides these monstrous and horrifying thoughts, the uncontrolled practice of cloning also threatens the dignity of humankind.’
    • ‘We are overall reminded of how brutal, vile and monstrous the Nazi regime truly was and why we had to completely destroy them in order to prevent any chance of their coming back.’
    appalling, abhorrent, heinous, evil, wicked, abominable, terrible, horrible, dreadful, hideous, foul, vile
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  • 3Extraordinarily and dauntingly large.

    ‘the monstrous tidal wave swamped the surrounding countryside’
    • ‘They are organisms that, though gigantic, exist not to be frightening; though monstrous, we should not avoid them.’
    • ‘At 12.59 am, a massive deep sea quake struck just off the coast of Indonesia, sparking a tidal wave of monstrous proportions.’
    • ‘She looked at one of the frogs, a big homely one with a gigantic mouth and monstrous warts.’
    • ‘I immediately stopped my car and, smiling wickedly, pulled out the monstrous bag.’
    • ‘I stood there in the middle of the hall watching a huge - enormous - monstrous suitcase.’
    • ‘The stranger was so monstrous in size that he was extremely terrified and stunned.’
    • ‘The protagonists are not overwhelmed by the monstrous power of Nature but by their own little flaws and fears which come to the surface when the mission suffers an inevitable setback.’
    • ‘A beautiful dive at 20m, I saw huge coral formations and monstrous sea fans.’
    • ‘For many of the passengers, the trail of devastation left behind by the monstrous tidal waves, is still fresh in their memory.’
    • ‘In the direction that Maria heard the sound of wind, she could see what appeared to be a monstrous pile of blankets.’
    • ‘With his ear against the moist earth, Jason heard a monstrous rumble and the ground shook hundreds of times more violently than it would have in an earthquake.’
    • ‘Charlie's dad is an immense, monstrous presence at the centre of the film.’
    • ‘Nobody wants to come home to an ugly building, or worse, live opposite a monstrous, modern carbuncle and it seems builders and developers are at long last beginning to realise this.’
    huge, enormous, massive, great, gigantic, giant, colossal, mammoth, vast, immense, tremendous, mighty, stupendous, monumental, epic, prodigious, mountainous, titanic, towering, elephantine, king-sized, king-size, gargantuan, herculean, brobdingnagian, substantial
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Late Middle English (in the sense ‘strange or unnatural’): from Old French monstreux or Latin monstrosus, from monstrum (see monster). Current senses date from the 16th century.