horrible

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

First attested in Middle English[1] (alternately as horrible and orrible)[2] in 1303[3]: from Old French[1][2] horrible[3], from Latin horribilis[1][2][3], from horr(ēre) (bristle with fear[2][3]; shudder[3]; stand on end[2]; tremble[1]) + -ibilis (-ible)[2].

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

horrible (plural horribles)

  1. A thing that causes horror; a terrifying thing, particularly a prospective bad consequence asserted as likely to result from an act.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick
      Here's a carcase. I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles!
    • 1982, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, The Genocide Convention: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate
      A lot of the possible horribles conjured up by the people objecting to this convention ignore the plain language of this treaty.
    • 1991, Alastair Scott, Tracks Across Alaska: A Dog Sled Journey
      The pot had previously simmered skate wings, cods' heads, whales, pigs' hearts and a long litany of other horribles.
    • 2000, John Dean, CNN interview, January 21, 2000:
      I'm trying to convince him that the criminal behavior that's going on at the White House has to end. And I give him one horrible after the next. I just keep raising them. He sort of swats them away.
    • 2001, Neil K. Komesar, Law's Limits: The Rule of Law and the Supply and Demand of Rights
      Many scholars have demonstrated these horribles and contemplated significant limitations on class actions.
  2. A person wearing a comic or grotesque costume in a parade of horribles.

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

horrible (comparative horribler or more horrible, superlative horriblest or most horrible)

  1. Causing horror; terrible; shocking.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      Such a scandal as the prosecution of a brother for forgery—with a verdict of guilty—is a most truly horrible, deplorable, fatal thing. It takes the respectability out of a family perhaps at a critical moment, when the family is just assuming the robes of respectability: [] it is a black spot which all the soaps ever advertised could never wash off.
    • 1949, J. D. Salinger, The Laughing Man:
      Strangers fainted dead away at the sight of the Laughing Man's horrible face. Acquaintances shunned him.
    • 1953, Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451:
      Some of us have had plastic surgery on our faces and fingerprints. Right now we have a horrible job; we're waiting for the war to begin and, as quickly, end.
  2. Tremendously wrong or errant.
    • 1933, James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times:
      Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house.

Synonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1·1)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Asturian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin horribilis.

Adjective[edit]

horrible (epicene, plural horribles)

  1. horrible

Related terms[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin horribilis.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

horrible m, f (masculine and feminine plural horribles)

  1. horrible

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

horrible (masculine and feminine, plural horribles)

  1. horrible; causing horror.

External links[edit]


Galician[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin horribilis.

Adjective[edit]

horrible m, f (plural horribles)

  1. horrible

Derived terms[edit]

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Middle English[edit]

Adjective[edit]

horrible

  1. horrible

Spanish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin horribilis.

Adjective[edit]

horrible m, f (plural horribles)

  1. horrible

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]