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[hid-ee-uh s] /ˈhɪd i əs/
horrible or frightful to the senses; repulsive; very ugly:
a hideous monster.
shocking or revolting to the moral sense:
a hideous crime.
distressing; appalling:
the hideous expense of moving one's home to another city.
Origin of hideous
1275-1325; Middle English hidous < Old French hisdos, equivalent to hisde horror, fright (perhaps < Old High German *egisida, akin to egisôn, agison to frighten) + -os -ous; suffix later assimilated to -eous
Related forms
hideously, adverb
hideousness, hideosity
[hid-ee-os-i-tee] /ˌhɪd iˈɒs ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
unhideous, adjective
unhideously, adverb
unhideousness, noun
1, 2. grisly, grim; repellent, detestable, odious, monstrous, dreadful, appalling, ghastly.
1. attractive, pleasing. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hideous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But the hideous doctrines which his cousin had preached to him were not without their effect.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • It was a grisly, hideous night, and all shapes were vague and distorted.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Glorious fields, in truth, but the combats of the past had left them hideous!

    Dona Perfecta B. Perez Galdos
  • That one truth glared at you from every hideous corner of the desecrated room.

    Princess Zara Ross Beeckman
  • I have gathered from him and the common-room some hideous stories of you and Jim.

    Sonia Between two Worlds Stephen McKenna
British Dictionary definitions for hideous


extremely ugly; repulsive: a hideous person
terrifying and horrific
Derived Forms
hideously, adverb
hideousness, hideosity (ˌhɪdɪˈɒsɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French hisdos, from hisde fear; of uncertain origin
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 hideous

c.1300, "terrifying, horrible, dreadful," from Anglo-French hidous, Old French hideus, earlier hisdos "hideous, horrible, awful, frightening" (11c.; Modern French hideux), from hisda "horror, fear," perhaps of Germanic origin; or else from Vulgar Latin *hispidosus, from Latin hispidus "shaggy, bristly," "[b]ut this presents numerous difficulties" [OED]. Meaning "repulsive" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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