What is the meaning of awful?


  • Exceptionally bad or displeasing.
    • usage: "atrocious taste"; "abominable workmanship"; "an awful voice"; "dreadful manners"; "a painful performance"; "terrible handwriting"; "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"
  • Causing fear or dread or terror.
    • usage: "the awful war"; "an awful risk"; "dire news"; "a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked"; "the dread presence of the headmaster"; "polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was"; "a dreadful storm"; "a fearful howling"; "horrendous explosions shook the city"; "a terrible curse"
  • Offensive or even (of persons) malicious."in a nasty mood"; "a nasty accident"; "a nasty shock"; "a nasty smell"; "a nasty trick to pull"; "Will he say nasty things at my funeral- Ezra Pound
  • Inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence.
    • usage: "awed by the silence"; "awful worshippers with bowed heads"
  • Extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact.
    • usage: "in a frightful hurry"; "spent a frightful amount of money"
  • Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder.
    • usage: "New York is an amazing city"; "the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight"; "the awesome complexity of the universe"; "this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath- Melville; "Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent"


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APAWordNet. (2010). awful. Retrieved April 22, 2019, from http://smartdefine.org/awful/definitions/1168827
ChicagoWordNet. 2010. "awful" http://smartdefine.org/awful/definitions/1168827 (accessed April 22, 2019).
HarvardWordNet 2010, awful, Smart Define, viewed 22 April, 2019, <http://smartdefine.org/awful/definitions/1168827>.
MLAWordNet. "awful" 23 October 2010. Web. 22 April 2019. <http://smartdefine.org/awful/definitions/1168827>
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