- very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.
- disagreeable; unpleasant; objectionable: ugly tricks; ugly discords.
- morally revolting: ugly crime.
- threatening trouble or danger: ugly symptoms.
- mean; hostile; quarrelsome: an ugly mood; an ugly frame of mind.
- (especially of natural phenomena) unpleasant or dangerous: ugly weather; an ugly sea.
Origin of ugly
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for uglier
If my views cannot be refuted by Edwards, I may wait long for an "uglier customer."Slavery Ordained of God
Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
Gholson took on an uglier pallor than before and went back into the house.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
If the Valley River was ugly from its bank it was uglier from its middle.Dwellers in the Hills
Melville Davisson Post
There's that in you, Lena, which can console me for worse things, for uglier passages.Victory
You would hardly forget it, would you, sir, for I've seldom seen an uglier.The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
- of unpleasant or unsightly appearance
- repulsive, objectionable, or displeasing in any waywar is ugly
- ominous or menacingan ugly situation
- bad-tempered, angry, or sullenan ugly mood
Word Origin and History for uglier
mid-13c., uglike "frightful or horrible in appearance," from Old Norse uggligr "dreadful, fearful," from uggr "fear, apprehension, dread" (perhaps related to agg "strife, hate") + -ligr "-like." Meaning softened to "very unpleasant to look at" late 14c. Extended sense of "morally offensive" is attested from c.1300; that of "ill-tempered" is from 1680s.
Among words for this concept, ugly is unusual in being formed from a root for "fear, dread." More common is a compound meaning "ill-shaped" (e.g. Greek dyseides, Latin deformis, Irish dochrud, Sanskrit ku-rupa). Another Germanic group has a root sense of "hate, sorrow" (see loath). Ugly duckling (1877) is from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, first translated from Danish to English 1846. Ugly American "U.S. citizen who behaves offensively abroad" is first recorded 1958 as a book title.