penny dreadful

noun, plural penny dreadfuls. Chiefly British.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for penny-dreadful

British Dictionary definitions for penny-dreadful


noun plural -fuls

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