[ uh-paw-ling ]
/ əˈpɔ lɪŋ /


causing dismay or horror: an appalling accident; an appalling lack of manners.

Nearby words

  1. appalachian spring,
  2. appalachian tea,
  3. appalachian trail,
  4. appall,
  5. appalled,
  6. appaloosa,
  7. appanage,
  8. appar.,
  9. apparat,
  10. apparatchik

Origin of appalling

First recorded in 1810–20; appall + -ing2

Related formsap·pall·ing·ly, adverbun·ap·pall·ing, adjectiveun·ap·pall·ing·ly, adverb


[ uh-pawl ]
/ əˈpɔl /

verb (used with object), ap·palled, ap·pal·ling.


or ap·pal

[ uh-pawl ]
/ əˈpɔl /

verb (used with object)

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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for appalling

British Dictionary definitions for appalling


/ (əˈpɔːlɪŋ) /


causing extreme dismay, horror, or revulsion
very bad
Derived Formsappallingly, adverb


US appall

/ (əˈpɔːl) /

verb -pals, -palling or -palled or US -palls, -palling or -palled

(tr) to fill with horror; shock or dismay

Word Origin for appal

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 appalling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper