extremely or shockingly wicked, cruel, or brutal: an atrocious crime.
shockingly bad or tasteless; dreadful; abominable: an atrocious painting; atrocious manners.

Origin of atrocious

First recorded in 1660–70; atroci(ty) + -ous
Related formsa·tro·cious·ly, adverba·tro·cious·ness, noun

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

Examples from the Web for atrociously

Contemporary Examples of atrociously

Historical Examples of atrociously

  • As if that were not wild enough, they mispronounce it atrociously.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I have always had a kindly feeling for him, though I feel that he used me atrociously.

  • I did not know how soon and how atrociously my belief was to be justified.


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • Well, your French accent is so atrociously bad, I don't wonder!

  • He could see him leaning over the balustrade and smiling at him atrociously.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for atrociously



extremely cruel or wicked; ruthlessatrocious deeds
horrifying or shockingan atrocious road accident
informal very bad; detestableatrocious writing
Derived Formsatrociously, adverbatrociousness, noun

Word Origin for atrocious

C17: from Latin ātrōx dreadful, from āter black
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 atrociously



1660s, from stem of Latin atrox "fierce, savage, cruel" (see atrocity) + -ous. Colloquial sense "very bad" is late 19c. Related: Atrociously; atrociousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper