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From Middle English monstrous, from Old French monstrueuse, monstrüos, from Latin mōnstrōsus. Compare monstruous.



monstrous (comparative more monstrous, superlative most monstrous)

  1. Hideous or frightful.
  2. Enormously large.
    a monstrous height
    • c. 1603–1604 (date written), William Shakespeare, The Tragœdy of Othello, the Moore of Venice. [] (First Quarto), London: [] N[icholas] O[kes] for Thomas Walkley, [], published 1622, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i], page 21:
      The chiding billovv ſeemes to pelt the cloudes, / The vvinde ſhak'd ſurge, vvith high and monſtrous mayne, / Seemes to caſt vvater, on the burning Beare, []
    • 1901 December 20, “The Ringing of Plants”, in The Agricultural Journal and Mining Record[1], volume 4, number 21, page 663:
      Possibly monster pumpkins may become still more monstrous by the shoots being ringed, and so may other vegetables and fruits where quality is of less importance than mere size.
  3. Freakish or grotesque.
  4. Of, or relating to a mythical monster; full of monsters.
  5. (obsolete) Marvellous; exceedingly strange; fantastical.


Derived terms[edit]


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Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of monstruous