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[haw-ren-duh s, ho-] /hɔˈrɛn dəs, hɒ-/
shockingly dreadful; horrible:
a horrendous crime.
Origin of horrendous
1650-60; < Latin horrendus dreadful, to be feared (gerund of horrēre to bristle, shudder), equivalent to horr- (akin to hirsute) + -endus gerund suffix
Related forms
horrendously, adverb
appalling, frightful, hideous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for horrendous
  • Wal-Mart has a horrendous track record with workers' rights and access to health insurance.
  • The horrendous scenes revealed cattle being whipped, stabbed and gouged.
  • Many of the refugees suffered horrendous atrocities along the way.
  • Living in the shadow of such a horrendous catastrophe didn't faze us.
  • There are plenty of awesomely horrendous low-budget music videos.
  • Bribery, altered transcripts and players who never graduate have given college sports a horrendous public image.
  • Unfortunately, the errors are so horrendous that these references are not needed.
  • Americans are braced for their third horrendous summer of air travel in a row.
  • After a horrendous couple of decades, the national team once again basked in the warmth of the nation's affections.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer runoff is also horrendous for the environment.
British Dictionary definitions for horrendous


another word for horrific
Derived Forms
horrendously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin horrendus fearful, from horrēre to bristle, shudder, tremble; see horror
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for horrendous

1650s, from Latin horrendus "dreadful, fearful, terrible," literally "to be shuddered at," gerundive of horrere "to bristle with fear, shudder" (see horror). Earlier form in English was horrend (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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