[ uh-paw-ling ]
/ əˈpɔ lɪŋ /


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

Origin of appalling

First recorded in 1810–20; appall + -ing2

Related forms

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

Definition for appalling (2 of 3)


[ uh-pawl ]
/ əˈpɔl /

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

Definition for appalling (3 of 3)


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 (1 of 2)


/ (əˈpɔːlɪŋ) /


causing extreme dismay, horror, or revulsion
very bad

Derived Forms

appallingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for appalling (2 of 2)


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