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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 hideousness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Horror of an inconceivable monstrosity began to assail me: was I following through the dark an unheard of hideousness?

    Lilith George MacDonald
  • The hideousness of it oppressed her like a nightmare; yet her voice did not falter.

    The New Tenant E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Nor, going on thus from step to step, did she have a sense of the hideousness of the wrong she contemplated.

    Bressant Julian Hawthorne
  • It might escape the hideousness of sin, but the hideousness of age was in store for it.

  • It may be possible to cure a vice by showing its hideousness.

  • They bathe not, neither do they swim; and Cerberus in all his hideousness was not arrayed like some of these.

    Nights in London Thomas Burke
  • For the hideousness of the disgrace to which he had brought her.

    The One-Way Trail Ridgwell Cullum
  • Their minds have not been sensitized to outdoor beauty and hideousness.

    Society Henry Kalloch Rowe
  • I am more and more conscious of its horror and hideousness every day.

    The Life of Mrs. Humphry Ward Janet Penrose Trevelyan
British Dictionary definitions for hideousness


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 hideousness

late 14c., from hideous + -ness.



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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