Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[haw-ren-duh s, ho-] /hɔˈrɛn dəs, hɒ-/
shockingly dreadful; horrible:
a horrendous crime.
Origin of horrendous
1650-60; < Latin horrendus dreadful, to be feared (gerund of horrēre to bristle, shudder), equivalent to horr- (akin to hirsute) + -endus gerund suffix
Related forms
horrendously, adverb
appalling, frightful, hideous. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for horrendous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Like some horrendous, watchful gargoyle, the Nipe crouched motionlessly on the shadowed roof of the low building.

    Anything You Can Do ... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • As he shook he gave tone, emitting a most horrendous yell of pain and rage.

    Buff: A Collie and other dog-stories Albert Payson Terhune
  • But a man alone, or at any rate a member of the human race alone, could compass an effect so horrendous.

    Dariel R. D. Blackmore
  • It was the most horrendous campaign, for sheer concentration, that had ever battered at the public mind.

    And All the Earth a Grave Carroll M. Capps (AKA C.C. MacApp)
  • The horrendous act of Jacob Miller, therefore, created a sensation.

    Anderson Crow, Detective George Barr McCutcheon
British Dictionary definitions for horrendous


another word for horrific
Derived Forms
horrendously, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin horrendus fearful, from horrēre to bristle, shudder, tremble; see horror
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 horrendous

1650s, from Latin horrendus "dreadful, fearful, terrible," literally "to be shuddered at," gerundive of horrere "to bristle with fear, shudder" (see horror). Earlier form in English was horrend (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for horrendous

Word Value for horrendous

Scrabble Words With Friends