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 hideousness

Contemporary Examples of hideousness

  • Marty was cool because he took his hideousness and, with a brilliant wit and oodles of self-knowledge, he flaunted it.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Marty Feldman: Dead Cool

    Simon Doonan

    November 2, 2009

Historical Examples of hideousness

  • The horrible, bitter truth had been forced upon her, and she saw it in all its hideousness.

    The White Lie

    William Le Queux

  • It was when he least endeavoured to conceal his character that its hideousness least appeared.

    The Young Duke

    Benjamin Disraeli

  • He had become so repulsive, that passing his hand over his face, he felt his own hideousness.


    Anatole France

  • Some of the other pictures are wonderful, too—wonderful in their hideousness.

  • The hideousness of it oppressed her like a nightmare; yet her voice did not falter.

    The New Tenant

    E. Phillips Oppenheim

British Dictionary definitions for hideousness



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 hideousness

late 14c., from hideous + -ness.



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