Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

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 of dreadful
1175-1225
First recorded in 1175-1225, dreadful is from the Middle English word 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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dreadful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for dreadful

Word Value for dreadful

13
15
Scrabble Words With Friends