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From dire +‎ -ful.


direful (comparative more direful, superlative most direful)

  1. Fearful, terrible.
    • 1593, [William Shakespeare], Venvs and Adonis, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, [], OCLC 837166078, [verse 17]; 2nd edition, London: Imprinted by Richard Field, [], 1594, OCLC 701755207, lines [97–100]:
      I haue beene wooed, as I intreat thee now, / Euen by the ſterne, and direfull God of warre, / VVhoſe ſinowie necke in battel nere did bow, / VVho conquers where he comes in euery iarre; []
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.11:
      read what destiny / Or other dyrefull hap from heaven or hell / Hath wrought this wicked deed […].
    • 1603-06, William Shakespeare, Macbeth, I.2:
      "As whence the sun gins his reflection, shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break."


Derived terms[edit]