[ hawr-er, hor- ]
See synonyms for: horrorhorrors on Thesaurus.com

  1. an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting; a shuddering fear: to shrink back from a mutilated corpse in horror.

  2. anything that causes such a feeling: killing, looting, and other horrors of war.

  1. such a feeling as a quality or condition: to have known the horror of slow starvation.

  2. a strong aversion; abhorrence: to have a horror of emotional outbursts.

  3. Informal. something considered bad or tasteless: That wallpaper is a horror. The party was a horror.

  4. horrors, Informal.

  1. inspiring or creating horror, loathing, aversion, etc.: The hostages told horror stories of their year in captivity.

  2. centered upon or depicting terrifying or macabre events: a horror movie.

  1. horrors, (used as a mild expression of dismay, surprise, disappointment, etc.)

Origin of horror

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin horror, equivalent to horr- (stem of horrēre “to bristle with fear”; see horrendous) + -or-or1; replacing Middle English orrour, from Anglo-French, from Latin horrōr-, stem of horror

synonym study For horror

1. See terror.

Other words for horror

Opposites for horror

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use horror in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for horror


/ (ˈhɒrə) /

  1. extreme fear; terror; dread

  2. intense loathing; hatred

  1. (often plural) a thing or person causing fear, loathing, etc

  2. (modifier) having a frightening subject, esp a supernatural one: a horror film

Origin of horror

C14: from Latin: a trembling with fear; compare hirsute

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with horror


see under throw up one's hands.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.