Synonyms of awful in English:


See definition of awful


1‘the place smelled awful’


very unpleasant, disgusting, nasty, terrible, dreadful, ghastly, horrid, horrible, vile, foul, abominable, appalling, atrocious, horrendous, hideous, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious, frightful, loathsome, revolting, repulsive, repellent, repugnant, odious, sickening, nauseating, nauseous

informal gruesome, diabolical, yucky, sick-making, God-awful, gross, from hell, icky

British informal grotty, beastly

North American informal hellacious, lousy

literary noisome

archaic disgustful, loathly


lovely, wonderful

2‘I think it's an awful book’


very bad, poor, dreadful, terrible, frightful, atrocious, hopeless, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactory, substandard, laughable, lamentable, execrable

informal crummy, pathetic, rotten, useless, woeful, lousy, appalling, abysmal, dire, poxy, God-awful

British informal duff, chronic, rubbish, a load of pants

vulgar slang crap, shit, chickenshit

rare egregious


good, excellent

3‘Ronnie's awful accident at the crossroads’


serious, grave, bad, terrible, dreadful, alarming, critical


slight, minor

4‘you look awful—you should go and lie down’


ill, unwell, washed out, peaky

sick, queasy, nauseous, nauseated, green about the gills

faint, dizzy, giddy

British off, off colour, poorly

informal rough, lousy, rotten, terrible, dreadful, crummy

British informal grotty, ropy

Scottish informal wabbit, peely-wally

NZ Australian informal crook

vulgar slang crappy

dated queer, seedy

rare peaked, peakish

5‘I felt awful for being so angry with him’


remorseful, conscience-stricken, guilty, guilt-ridden, ashamed, chastened, contrite, sorry, full of regret, regretful, repentant, penitent, shamefaced, self-reproachful, apologetic

6‘the awful and majestic sights of nature’


awe-inspiring, awesome, impressive, amazing

dread, fearful