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[mon-struh s] /ˈmɒn strəs/
frightful or hideous, especially in appearance; extremely ugly.
shocking or revolting; outrageous:
monstrous cruelty.
extraordinarily great; huge; immense:
a monstrous building.
deviating grotesquely from the natural or normal form or type.
having the nature or appearance of a fabulous monster.
extremely; exceedingly; very.
Origin of monstrous
First recorded in 1350-1400; Middle English word from Latin word mōnstrōsus. See monster, -ous
Related forms
monstrously, adverb
monstrousness, noun
1, 2. horrible, atrocious. 3. See gigantic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for monstrousness
Historical Examples
  • We've often talked of such things: of the monstrousness of useless sacrifices.

    The Reef Edith Wharton
  • Tuckham stood bursting at the monstrousness of such a statement.

  • To attempt the least description would be a presumption of the first monstrousness.'

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • You can stand the need for monstrousness for a long while yet!

    The Hate Disease William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • He wished to protest, to cry out against the monstrousness of what was happening.

    The Purple Heights Marie Conway Oemler
  • To-night it was as though for a few moments a taint of monstrousness had passed through the peace of the garden.

  • The monstrousness of that dead-and-alive mechanism overwhelmed his thoughts again.

    The Passing of Ku Sui Anthony Gilmore
  • He seemed to realize as never before the monstrousness of the crime committed against him.

  • A tattered shift covered some of her monstrousness, but she was still a nightmare.

    The Valor of Cappen Varra Poul William Anderson
  • Commander Benedict's mind whirled around the monstrousness of the whole thing like some dizzy bee around a flower.

    Time Fuze Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for monstrousness


abnormal, hideous, or unnatural in size, character, etc
(of plants and animals) abnormal in structure
outrageous, atrocious, or shocking: it is monstrous how badly he is treated
huge: a monstrous fire
of, relating to, or resembling a monster
Derived Forms
monstrously, adverb
monstrousness, 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
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Word Origin and History for monstrousness



mid-15c., "unnatural, deviating from the natural order, hideous," from Middle French monstrueux, from Latin monstruosus "strange, unnatural, monstrous," from monstrum (see monster). Meaning "enormous" is from c.1500; that of "outrageously wrong" is from 1570s. Earlier form monstruous (late 14c., from Old French monstruous) was "very common in the 16th c." [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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