adjective, ug·li·er, ug·li·est.
Origin of ugly
Examples from the Web for uglily
He was ugly, that was all; nothing more nor less; in short, he was uglily ugly.The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 1 (of 8)|Guy de Maupassant
"Been listening to all our talk, I suppose," said Cuffer, uglily.The Rover Boys on Treasure Isle|Edward Stratemeyer (AKA Arthur M. Winfield)
"Then I want to tell you that he has no right to interfere with me," went on Napoleon Martell, uglily.
"Say, this isn't any of your fight," put in Slugger Brown, uglily.
adjective -lier or -liest
Word Origin for ugly
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with ugly
- ugly as sin
- ugly customer
- ugly duckling
- rear its ugly head