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See more synonyms for appal on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), ap·palled, ap·pal·ling.
  1. appall.
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or ap·pal

verb (used with object)
  1. to fill or overcome with horror, consternation, or fear; dismay: He was appalled by the damage from the fire. I am appalled at your mistakes.
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Origin of appall

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle French ap(p)allir to grow or make pale, equivalent to a- a-5 + pal(l)ir in same sense; see pale1


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for appal

Historical Examples

  • The sudden face of death might appal me for a moment, but the fear is over.

    The Last Days of Pompeii

    Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

  • The scenes presented were enough to appal the stoutest nerves.

    Woman's Work in the Civil War

    Linus Pierpont Brockett

  • The rest of the trail was a puzzle, indeed, but it presently ceased to appal.

    The Kindred of the Wild

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • The scene, however, was still terrific, and sufficient to appal the stoutest heart.



  • The thought of death does not appal him, it braces him to work and joy.

British Dictionary definitions for appal


US appall

verb -pals, -palling or -palled or US -palls, -palling or -palled
  1. (tr) to fill with horror; shock or dismay
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French appalir to turn pale
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

Word Origin and History for appal



also appal, early 14c., "to fade;" c.1400, "to grow pale," from Old French apalir "become or make pale," from a- "to" (see ad-) + palir "grow pale," from Latin pallere (see pallor). Meaning "cause dismay or shock," is 1530s. Related: Appalled; appalling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper