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- Repellently frightful and shocking; horrific or ghastly.
- 1889, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], “The Battle of the Sand-belt”, in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, New York, N.Y.: Charles L. Webster & Company, →OCLC, page 560:
- True, there were the usual night-sounds of the country—the whir of night-birds, the buzzing of insects, the barking of distant dogs, the mellow lowing of far-off kine—but these didn't seem to break the stillness, they only intensified it, and added a grewsome melancholy to it into the bargain.
- 1912 October, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Tarzan of the Apes”, in The All-Story, New York, N.Y.: Frank A. Munsey Co., →OCLC; republished as chapter 6, in Tarzan of the Apes, New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, 1914 June, →OCLC:
- In the middle of the floor lay a skeleton, every vestige of flesh gone from the bones to which still clung the mildewed and moldered remnants of what had once been clothing. Upon the bed lay a similar gruesome thing, but smaller, while in a tiny cradle near-by was a third, a wee mite of a skeleton.
- grewsome (obsolete)
repellently frightful and shocking; horrific or ghastly