- very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.
- disagreeable; unpleasant; objectionable: ugly tricks; ugly discords.
- morally revolting: ugly crime.
- threatening trouble or danger: ugly symptoms.
- mean; hostile; quarrelsome: an ugly mood; an ugly frame of mind.
- (especially of natural phenomena) unpleasant or dangerous: ugly weather; an ugly sea.
Origin of ugly
SynonymsSee more synonyms for ugly on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ugliness
And considering the ugliness rising in his native land, Forgács must be seen as a political artist, whether he likes it or not.In Hands of Hungarian Artist, Jewish Home Movies of the ’30s a Warning of Coming Holocaust
October 25, 2014
I can see vulgarity and ugliness anywhere I want to look, and I can see it for free.‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Is an Empty Pit of Nihilism
June 30, 2014
If we aspire to that personally and legislate for it publicly, the ugliness will dissipate.In Gay Rights Fights, Bullies Love to Play the Victim
April 4, 2014
The ideology of bigotry can be found all over Europe, in fact, and its ugliness is spreading like gangrene, especially in France.America’s Ambassadors of Hate
February 4, 2014
All that is almost invariably the stuff of ugliness, violence, and disaster—the stuff of “unbeing.”Why Contemporary Art Matters Now
June 16, 2013
I could not find the words to explain to a man my horror of ugliness.
Aftervard, v'en beauty is common as ugliness is now—ah, I do not know.
His embarrassment, or ugliness of temper, or whatever it was, was gone.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
They were all sorry for me in my misery, and were touched by my ugliness.My Double Life
You can devote yourself to the elimination of ugliness, to the increase of beauty.City of Endless Night
- of unpleasant or unsightly appearance
- repulsive, objectionable, or displeasing in any waywar is ugly
- ominous or menacingan ugly situation
- bad-tempered, angry, or sullenan ugly mood
Word Origin and History for ugliness
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 ugliness
In addition to the idioms beginning with ugly
- ugly as sin
- ugly customer
- ugly duckling
- rear its ugly head