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Inherited from Old Swedish hemsker (foolish), derived from hem (home). The original meaning was "who has only stayed at home" or "who has not been out in the world", thus "stupid" or "easily terrified". Cognate of Icelandic heimskur. Compare English homely.


  • (file)


hemsk (comparative hemskare, superlative hemskast)

  1. ghastly, frightful, terrible
    Pojken tyckte att filmen var hemsk.
    The boy thought the film was terrible (frightful)
    Det är hemskt att se djur lida
    It's horrible to see animals suffer
    Planen är hemsk
    The plan is terrible (evil)


Inflection of hemsk
Indefinite Positive Comparative Superlative2
Common singular hemsk hemskare hemskast
Neuter singular hemskt hemskare hemskast
Plural hemska hemskare hemskast
Masculine plural3 hemske hemskare hemskast
Definite Positive Comparative Superlative
Masculine singular1 hemske hemskare hemskaste
All hemska hemskare hemskaste
1) Only used, optionally, to refer to things whose natural gender is masculine.
2) The indefinite superlative forms are only used in the predicative.
3) Dated or archaic


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