Definition of atrocious in US English:



  • 1Horrifyingly wicked.

    ‘atrocious cruelties’
    • ‘Upon returning to the United States, after having seen atrocious abuses first hand, he says that he could not stay silent.’
    • ‘They watched the hideous spectacle, stunned by the monster's atrocious acts.’
    • ‘He did an atrocious act and he got what he wanted, lots of publicity for his cause and the right to die a martyr.’
    • ‘Who can say they wouldn't do something atrocious if in an extreme situation?’
    • ‘In practice, this meant all but the most atrocious offenses got mere wrist slaps.’
    • ‘Our grandfathers witnessed the most atrocious period ever to have occurred; hopefully nothing like that will ever happen again.’
    • ‘Nor was Stalin's behaviour in Ukraine, however atrocious, on a par with Hitler's total extermination strategy.’
    • ‘In the old orthodox society the Sati system of widows mounting the funeral pyre of their husbands was an atrocious practice.’
    • ‘Despite the country's atrocious human rights records, the world community has done very little in response.’
    • ‘Let us picture a small, comparatively weak, nation, governed by someone who commits any number of atrocious crimes to stay in power.’
    • ‘That such a policy may have stirred up the enmity which resulted in last week's atrocious acts of violence should not be dismissed out of hand.’
    • ‘It was possibly the most atrocious monstrosity every pulled off on American soil.’
    • ‘The people who are committing these atrocious acts are few, but they are mainly foreigners.’
    • ‘Jones Griffiths and others tried to interest the news agencies in pictures that told the truth about that atrocious war.’
    • ‘We are exporting atrocious suffering, disease and death in poor countries where controls are not implemented.’
    • ‘Women and children there are subjected to atrocious harassment and torture, particularly in the workplace.’
    • ‘I foresee that man will resign himself each day to more atrocious undertakings; soon there will be no one but soldiers and bandits.’
    • ‘This helps to explain why murder is such an atrocious crime.’
    • ‘Since no Coalition Forces were allowed into the city, they were able to get away with those atrocious acts without much trouble.’
    • ‘You can't let that psychological battle have the victim all of a sudden take on the guilt for the atrocious acts of the perpetrator.’
    • ‘If the tour were cancelled, a valuable opportunity to raise public awareness of the atrocious regime would be lost.’
    • ‘The atrocious acts of terror in New York have shocked the world.’
    brutal, barbaric, barbarous, brutish, savage, vicious, wicked, cruel, nasty, ruthless, merciless, villainous, murderous, heinous, nefarious, monstrous, base, low, low-down, vile, inhuman, infernal, dark, black, black-hearted, fiendish, hellish, diabolical, ghastly, horrible
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    1. 1.1 Of a very poor quality; extremely bad or unpleasant.
      ‘he attempted an atrocious imitation of my English accent’
      ‘atrocious weather’
      • ‘His timing is atrocious.’
      • ‘No more seedy bars, inept passes or atrocious chat-up lines.’
      • ‘The supporting cast was atrocious and really brought the overall quality of the movie down with it.’
      • ‘All soccer fixtures were cancelled at the weekend due to the atrocious weather conditions.’
      • ‘It's unforgivably bad journalism, laughably poor sub-editing, and atrocious proof-reading.’
      • ‘Of course, the dialogue is still atrocious, and the actors' delivery of it is poor.’
      • ‘We paid £3,000 for an all-inclusive holiday and the food was atrocious.’
      • ‘The writing was atrocious, scribbled in black ink, and Karen had to focus on each word to decipher it.’
      • ‘The policy is atrocious and an insult to soldiers and their families.’
      • ‘I don't think I've been getting enough exercise and my posture is atrocious.’
      • ‘I did notice that the spelling in most of the unwanted e-mails I happen to read is generally atrocious.’
      • ‘Frankly, I'm disgusted by the atrocious writing I have to read every day as part of my job.’
      • ‘I have written before about how atrocious an assumption this is.’
      • ‘But it was terrible for everyone, and people not in my cohort also told me the first year is always atrocious.’
      • ‘But we poor deluded souls keep colouring our hair in the wildest and most atrocious colours possible.’
      • ‘Also, I have witnessed the most atrocious driving by some Bradford taxi drivers, placing other road users in jeopardy.’
      • ‘The weather conditions were atrocious, so thankfully the sale was indoors.’
      • ‘The generally poor and occasionally atrocious quality of the writing doesn't help.’
      • ‘I have come across parents like him who simply shrug their shoulders when you outline their children's atrocious behaviour.’
      • ‘The weather was atrocious, with heavy snow and high winds.’
      appalling, dreadful, terrible, very bad, unpleasant, lamentable, woeful, miserable, poor, inadequate, unsatisfactory
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Mid 17th century: from Latin atrox, atroc- ‘cruel’ + -ious.