- outrageous or heinous character; atrociousness: the enormity of war crimes.
- something outrageous or heinous, as an offense: The bombing of the defenseless population was an enormity beyond belief.
- greatness of size, scope, extent, or influence; immensity: The enormity of such an act of generosity is staggering.
Origin of enormity
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for enormity
To look at her in tears was to behold the enormity of her loss.Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss
January 5, 2015
It was an objective test that, for the first time, let the enormity of the drug problem in America rear its ugly head.Gov't Abandons Best Survey for Counting U.S. Drug Users
April 8, 2014
A real-life drama proving the enormity of what just one bullet can do continued to unfold.The Movie Murder 911 Tape: Victim’s Last Breaths, With Shooter Nearby
January 25, 2014
Even if it was a crutch, the Biblical language in these older writings did justice to the enormity of the forces at play.Polar Explorer vs. Reality TV Crew: Tim Jarvis in the Footsteps of Shackleton
January 12, 2014
And what better way to rally the troops (and they're all troops, in a pinch) than by pointing out the enormity of the enemy?North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un’s Game of Thrones
December 15, 2013
His pessimism about his play caused him to exaggerate the enormity of his offences.The Foolish Lovers
St. John G. Ervine
These chaps seemed to value a man by the enormity and number of his crimes.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Until now the enormity of his offence had not penetrated her understanding.Meadow Grass
I never dreamed of any enormity greater than I have committed.Mountain Meditations
Jon stood motionless, his head reeling at the enormity of what he had done.The Velvet Glove
- the quality or character of being outrageous; extreme wickedness
- an act of great wickedness; atrocity
- informal vastness of size or extent
Word Origin and History for enormity
late 15c., "transgression, crime, irregularity," from Old French énormité "extravagance, enormity, atrocity, heinous sin," from Latin enormitatem (nominative enormitas) "hugeness, vastness, irregularity," from enormis (see enormous). Meaning "extreme wickedness" in English attested from 1560s; sense of "hugeness" (1792) is etymological but probably best avoided to prevent misunderstanding.