such as to cause fright; dreadful, terrible, or alarming: A frightful howl woke us.
horrible, shocking, or revolting: The storm did frightful damage.
Informal. unpleasant; disagreeable: We had a frightful time.
Informal. very great; extreme: That actor is very talented but a frightful ham.
- fright·ful·ly, adverb
- fright·ful·ness, noun
- un·fright·ful, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use frightful in a sentence
On the other hand, there were also monstrous and frightful jötnar – like the giant wolf Fenrir and the humongous serpent Jormungand.
When the weather outside is frightful, sometimes the only solution is to make the mood scarier with a spooky movie.The 13 Best Scary Christmas Movies to Deck the Halls With Horror | Eliza Thompson | December 6, 2021 | Time
Other properties aim to appeal to travelers by promoting safe indoor activities when the weather outside is frightful.Why some seasonal hotels across the U.S. are staying open year-round | Molly O'Brien | January 14, 2021 | Washington Post
However frightful Nader found it, the concept intrigued him that “convergence” could be found among disparate groups.Ralph Nader and Grover Norquist: Washington’s Most Unlikely Bromance | Eleanor Clift | May 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
All these frightful trends are already emerging—and they will accelerate every day that the diplomatic wrangling continues.Shaming Russia for Arming Assad Won’t Help End Syria’s Civil War | Tamara Cofman Wittes | June 13, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
When the weather outside is frightful, board a plane and head to Florida.
Today, it's worlds away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time.
She looked from the picture to her daughter, with a frightful glare, in their before mild aspect.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
The darkness, or rather the general misapprehension, which prevails on this subject, is a frightful source of disease and misery.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
But, though defeated, he showed his spirit by keeping up a frightful barking.The Nursery, July 1873, Vol. XIV. No. 1 | Various
Most of the young fellows around here are in the Army, and the older men are frightful old fossils.The Everlasting Arms | Joseph Hocking
Till lately they have died in a proportion frightful compared with their numbers.Journal of a Voyage to Brazil | Maria Graham
British Dictionary definitions for frightful
very alarming, distressing, or horrifying
unpleasant, annoying, or extreme: a frightful hurry
- 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