[ hawr-id, hor- ]
/ ˈhɔr ɪd, ˈhɒr- /
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See synonyms for: horrid / horridness on Thesaurus.com

such as to cause horror; shockingly dreadful; abominable.
extremely unpleasant or disagreeable: horrid weather; She thought her uncle was horrid.
Archaic. shaggy or bristling; rough.
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Origin of horrid

1580–90; <Latin horridus bristling, rough, equivalent to horr- (stem of horrēre to stand on end, bristle) + -idus-id4


hor·rid·ly, adverbhor·rid·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does horrid mean?

Horrid is popularly used to mean extremely bad—awful, dreadful, or horrible.

When it’s used to describe a person, it often means extremely disagreeable or cruel.

Much less commonly, it can mean literally causing horror—horrifying or horrific.

Example: Everyone seems to like that restaurant, but I had a horrid experience there—bad food and even worse service.

Where does horrid come from?

The first records of the word horrid come from the late 1500s. It comes from the Latin horridus, which means “prickly” or “rough” and ultimately derives from the Latin verb horrēre, meaning “to tremble” or “to bristle with fear” (a reference to one’s hair standing on end due to extreme fear). Horrēre is the basis of the word horror and the related words horrific, horrifying, and horrible.

Horrid is most popularly used to simply mean “really bad,” in much the same way that horrible and terrible are often used, as in I had a horrid time at that party—no one would talk to me! Sometimes, though, horrid means truly horrific or horrifying, as in In my 30 years on the job, I’ve never seen a crime scene more horrid than this. Real-life horror, like violence, can be described as horrid, but you wouldn’t call a horror movie horrid to mean it was really scary—you’d probably call it horrifying or terrifying. If it was really stupid and poorly made, though, then you could call it horrid. (Unless it was so bad that it was good, in which case you might call it terrific!)

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What are some other forms related to horrid?

  • horridly (adverb)
  • horridness (noun)

What are some synonyms for horrid?

What are some words that often get used in discussing horrid?


How is horrid used in real life?

The word horrid is always negative, but it’s commonly used in both serious and not-so-serious contexts.



Try using horrid!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of horrid

A. awful
B. terrible
C. lousy
D. delightful

How to use horrid in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for horrid

/ (ˈhɒrɪd) /

disagreeable; unpleasanta horrid meal
repulsive or frightening
informal unkind

Derived forms of horrid

horridly, adverbhorridness, noun

Word Origin for horrid

C16 (in the sense: bristling, shaggy): from Latin horridus prickly, rough, from horrēre to bristle
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