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From Latin atrox ‎(fierce, frightful, cruel), from ater ‎(black).



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.
  3. Very bad; abominable or disgusting.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an 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.
    Their taste in clothes is just atrocious.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "atrocious" is often applied: crime, act, murder, condition, spelling, grammar.

Related terms[edit]


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