[ hawr-uh-fahy, hor- ]
/ ˈhɔr əˌfaɪ, ˈhɒr- /

verb (used with object), hor·ri·fied, hor·ri·fy·ing.

to cause to feel horror; strike with horror: The accident horrified us all.
to distress greatly; shock or dismay: She was horrified by the price of the house.

Nearby words

  1. horribly,
  2. horrid,
  3. horridly,
  4. horrific,
  5. horrified,
  6. horrifying,
  7. horripilate,
  8. horripilation,
  9. horror,
  10. horror show

Origin of horrify

1785–95; < Latin horrificāre to cause horror, equivalent to horri- (combining form of horrēre to bristle with fear; see horrendous) + -ficāre -fy

Related formshor·ri·fi·ca·tion, nounhor·ri·fy·ing·ly, adverb

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

Examples from the Web for horrifying

British Dictionary definitions for horrifying


/ (ˈhɒrɪˌfaɪɪŋ) /


causing feelings of horror in; awful; terrifying;
dismaying or greatly shocking; dreadful
Derived Formshorrifyingly, adverb


/ (ˈhɒrɪˌfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to cause feelings of horror in; terrify; frighten
to dismay or shock greatly
Derived Formshorrification, 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

Word Origin and History for horrifying



1791 (implied in horrifying), from horror + -fy. Related: Horrified; horrifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper