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See more synonyms for appalling on Thesaurus.com
  1. causing dismay or horror: an appalling accident; an appalling lack of manners.
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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


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

Synonyms for appall

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

Related Words for appalling

dreadful, horrific, alarming, harrowing, astounding, terrible, hideous, frightful, ghastly, dire, horrible, awful, shocking, frightening, terrifying, disheartening, heavy, intimidating, bad, gross

Examples from the Web for appalling

Contemporary Examples of appalling

Historical Examples of appalling

British Dictionary definitions for appalling


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


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 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


1620s, present participle adjective from appall. Colloquial weakened sense of "distasteful" is attested from 1919.

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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