penny dreadful

See synonyms for penny dreadful on
noun,plural penny dreadfuls.Chiefly British.
  1. a cheap, sensational novel of adventure, crime, or violence; dime novel.

Origin of penny dreadful

First recorded in 1870–75 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use penny dreadful in a sentence

  • Transcriber's Note: This book was originally published in "penny dreadful" form.

    Varney the Vampire | Thomas Preskett Prest

British Dictionary definitions for penny-dreadful


nounplural -fuls
  1. British informal a cheap, often lurid or sensational book or magazine

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