atrocious

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin atrōx (cruel, fierce, frightful) +‎ -ious.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

atrocious (comparative more atrocious, superlative most atrocious)

  1. Frightful, evil, cruel, or monstrous.
    Prisons have been the sites of atrocious mistreatment of prisoners.
  2. Offensive or heinous.
    • 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter III, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. [], volume III, London: [] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744, page 55:
      I had resolved in my own mind, that to create another like the fiend I had first made would be an act of the basest and most atrocious selfishness; and I banished from my mind every thought that could lead to a different conclusion.
  3. Very bad; abominable, disgusting.
    Their taste in clothes is just atrocious.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “The Town-Ho’s Story. (As Told at the Golden Inn.)”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 280:
      Others of the sailors joined with them in this attempt, and a twisted turmoil ensued; while standing out of harm's way, the valiant captain danced up and down with a whale-pike, calling upon his officers to manhandle that atrocious scoundrel, and smoke him along to the quarter-deck.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698, page 58:
      The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on a certain afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.

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Translations[edit]

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