adjective, ug·li·er, ug·li·est.
Origin of ugly
Examples from the Web for uglier
Douglas' race-baiting becomes wilder, uglier, and more incoherent.
Politics gets uglier and uglier as the parties themselves grow narrower and narrower.
But nothing can be more imperfect and uglier than the way in which the professional pietist practises it.Idling in Italy|Joseph Collins
We do look at them, and an uglier set we never saw; not one in a hundred, in his grimness, a gentleman.
Never was an uglier affront offered to the master of a ship.The Last Entry|William Clark Russell
In other and uglier words you advertise to the world that you have abandoned your home and wife.Athalie|Robert W. Chambers
An uglier place to attack I never saw; and in other respects, matters are not bright.With Clive in India|G. A. Henty
British Dictionary definitions for uglier
adjective -lier or -liest
Word Origin for ugly
Word Origin and History for uglier
mid-13c., uglike "frightful or horrible in appearance," from Old Norse uggligr "dreadful, fearful," from uggr "fear, apprehension, dread" (perhaps related to agg "strife, hate") + -ligr "-like." Meaning softened to "very unpleasant to look at" late 14c. Extended sense of "morally offensive" is attested from c.1300; that of "ill-tempered" is from 1680s.
Among words for this concept, ugly is unusual in being formed from a root for "fear, dread." More common is a compound meaning "ill-shaped" (e.g. Greek dyseides, Latin deformis, Irish dochrud, Sanskrit ku-rupa). Another Germanic group has a root sense of "hate, sorrow" (see loath). Ugly duckling (1877) is from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, first translated from Danish to English 1846. Ugly American "U.S. citizen who behaves offensively abroad" is first recorded 1958 as a book title.
Idioms and Phrases with uglier
In addition to the idioms beginning with ugly
- ugly as sin
- ugly customer
- ugly duckling
- rear its ugly head