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atrocity

[uh-tros-i-tee] /əˈtrɒs ɪ ti/
noun, plural atrocities.
1.
the quality or state of being atrocious.
2.
an atrocious act, thing, or circumstance.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Latin atrōcitās, equivalent to atrōci- (stem of atrōx) fierce + -tās -ty2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for atrocity
  • No dialogue or action is needed to illustrate the atrocity of the scene.
  • But the architects thought it was an atrocity; the design was totally antithetical to the Modernist cube.
  • It's sad that my country is letting this atrocity happen.
  • Images of inhumanity and atrocity are burned into our memories.
  • To turn around and say we could farm kangaroos and eat them is an absolute atrocity.
  • Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War.
  • We are fighting against men with blind hatred and armed with lethal weapons who are capable of any atrocity.
  • The bombs were the worst single terrorist atrocity on British soil.
  • To this day no group has clamed responsibility over this atrocity.
  • In any case, an atrocity must first be investigated by national authorities.
British Dictionary definitions for atrocity

atrocity

/əˈtrɒsɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
behaviour or an action that is wicked or ruthless
2.
the fact or quality of being atrocious
3.
(usually pl) acts of extreme cruelty, esp against prisoners or civilians in wartime
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 atrocity
n.

1530s, from Middle French atrocité or directly from Latin atrocitatem (nominative atrocitas) "cruelty, fierceness, harshness," noun of quality from atrox "fierce, cruel, frightful," from PIE *atro-ek-, from root *ater- "fire" (see atrium) + *okw- "see" (see eye (n.)); thus "of fiery or threatening appearance." The meaning "an atrocious deed" is from 1793.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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