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dreadful

[dred-fuh l] /ˈdrɛd fəl/
adjective
1.
causing great dread, fear, or terror; terrible:
a dreadful storm.
2.
inspiring awe or reverence.
3.
extremely bad, unpleasant, or ugly:
dreadful cooking; a dreadful hat.
noun, British
5.
a periodical given to highly sensational matter.
Origin
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English dredful. See dread, -ful
Related forms
dreadfulness, noun
quasi-dreadful, adjective
quasi-dreadfully, adverb
Synonyms
1. frightful, dire.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for dreadful
  • Alert readers may have noticed something about that chant: it's dreadful.
  • The post has appeared elsewhere online, so it's not some dreadful secret.
  • Since when people are threatened by so many dreadful viruses that cause fatal disease.
  • Dry coriander seed doesn't set me off but the fresh leaves are dreadful.
  • dreadful names and ghoulish shapes turn dishes suited to all ages into party fare.
  • We now know that the risks of splitting atoms pale beside the dreadful toll exacted by fossil fuels.
  • Despite the dreadful economy, however, art fairs dedicated to contemporary art are not giving up.
  • For some there is no more dreadful an experience than a visit to the gym.
  • In a hot country with dreadful television this is curious.
  • They were thankfully removed before doing their dreadful damage.
British Dictionary definitions for dreadful

dreadful

/ˈdrɛdfʊl/
adjective
1.
extremely disagreeable, shocking, or bad: what a dreadful play
2.
(intensifier): this is a dreadful waste of time
3.
causing dread; terrifying
4.
(archaic) inspiring awe
Derived Forms
dreadfulness, noun
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 dreadful
adj.

early 13c., "full of dread," from dread (n.) + -ful. Meaning "causing dread" is from mid-13c.; weakened sense of "very bad" is from c.1700. Related: Dreadfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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