[hawr-er, hor-]
an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.
anything that causes such a feeling: killing, looting, and other horrors of war.
such a feeling as a quality or condition: to have known the horror of slow starvation.
a strong aversion; abhorrence: to have a horror of emotional outbursts.
Informal. something considered bad or tasteless: That wallpaper is a horror. The party was a horror.
horrors, Informal.
extreme depression.
inspiring or creating horror, loathing, aversion, etc.: The hostages told horror stories of their year in captivity.
centered upon or depicting terrifying or macabre events: a horror movie.
horrors, (used as a mild expression of dismay, surprise, disappointment, etc.)

1520–30; < Latin horror, equivalent to horr- (stem of horrēre to bristle with fear; see horrendous) + -or -or1; replacing Middle English orrour < Anglo-French < Latin horrōr-, stem of horror

1. dread, dismay, consternation. See terror. 4. loathing, antipathy, detestation, hatred, abomination.

1. serenity. 4. attraction.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
horror (ˈhɒrə)
1.  extreme fear; terror; dread
2.  intense loathing; hatred
3.  (often plural) a thing or person causing fear, loathing, etc
4.  (modifier) having a frightening subject, esp a supernatural one: a horror film
[C14: from Latin: a trembling with fear; compare hirsute]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. horreur, from L. horror "bristling, roughness, rudeness, shaking, trembling," from horrere "to bristle with fear, shudder," from PIE base *ghers- "to bristle" (cf. Skt. harsate "bristles," Avestan zarshayamna- "ruffling one's feathers," L. eris (gen.) "hedgehog," Welsh garw "rough").
As a genre in film, 1936. Chamber of horrors originally (1849) was a gallery of notorious criminals in Madame Tussaud's wax exhibition.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see under throw up one's hands.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Uncontrollable feelings of fear and horror can overwhelm sufferers.
Horror manifests the primal fear: loss of will, helplessness.
Horror movies have never not had a following, of course.
For the past few years the independent film business has resembled a low-budget
  horror movie.
Idioms & Phrases
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