[ frahyt-fuhl ]
See synonyms for: frightfulfrightfullyfrightfulness on

  1. such as to cause fright; dreadful, terrible, or alarming: A frightful howl woke us.

  2. horrible, shocking, or revolting: The storm did frightful damage.

  1. Informal. unpleasant; disagreeable: We had a frightful time.

  2. Informal. very great; extreme: That actor is very talented but a frightful ham.

Origin of frightful

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at fright, -ful

Other words for frightful

Opposites for frightful

Other words from frightful

  • fright·ful·ly, adverb
  • fright·ful·ness, noun
  • un·fright·ful, adjective

Words Nearby frightful Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use frightful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for frightful


/ (ˈfraɪtfʊl) /

  1. very alarming, distressing, or horrifying

  2. unpleasant, annoying, or extreme: a frightful hurry

Derived forms of frightful

  • frightfulness, noun

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