horrible or frightful to the senses; repulsive; very ugly: a hideous monster.
shocking or revolting to the moral sense: a hideous crime.
distressing; appalling: the hideous expense of moving one's home to another city.

Origin of hideous

1275–1325; Middle English hidous < Old French hisdos, equivalent to hisde horror, fright (perhaps < Old High German *egisida, akin to egisôn, agison to frighten) + -os -ous; suffix later assimilated to -eous
Related formshid·e·ous·ly, adverbhid·e·ous·ness, hid·e·os·i·ty [hid-ee-os-i-tee] /ˌhɪd iˈɒs ɪ ti/, nounun·hid·e·ous, adjectiveun·hid·e·ous·ly, adverbun·hid·e·ous·ness, noun

Synonyms for hideous

Antonyms for hideous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hideous

Contemporary Examples of hideous

Historical Examples of hideous

  • Is it that it seems a strange and hideous dream, from which we will awake and rub our eyes?

    Ballads of a Bohemian

    Robert W. Service

  • It is, indeed, difficult to imagine what hideous beings these three sisters were.

    The Gorgon's Head

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Alberich was the most hideous of all the black, ugly little Nibelungs.

  • There was a hideous fascination in this spectacle stretched before us.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • The thing thrust so unexpectedly before her eyes was hideous in the extreme.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

British Dictionary definitions for hideous



extremely ugly; repulsivea hideous person
terrifying and horrific
Derived Formshideously, adverbhideousness or hideosity (ˌhɪdɪˈɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for hideous

C13: from Old French hisdos, from hisde fear; of uncertain origin
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 hideous

c.1300, "terrifying, horrible, dreadful," from Anglo-French hidous, Old French hideus, earlier hisdos "hideous, horrible, awful, frightening" (11c.; Modern French hideux), from hisda "horror, fear," perhaps of Germanic origin; or else from Vulgar Latin *hispidosus, from Latin hispidus "shaggy, bristly," "[b]ut this presents numerous difficulties" [OED]. Meaning "repulsive" is late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper