- 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 on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordshorrid, grotesque, unseemly, unsightly, awful, grisly, hideous, distasteful, vile, disgusting, terrible, sordid, dirty, messy, nasty, shocking, sinister, vicious, evil, dark
Examples from the Web for ugly
Some longtime local acquaintances are struggling to square the man they know with the ugly associations.No. 3 Republican Admits Talking to White Supremacist Conference
December 30, 2014
Of those, 1,980 used the term “cute”, while just 12 mentioned the word “ugly”.The Adorable New Prince George Photos
December 15, 2014
Two seasons ago, the show killed off its main romantic interest, Matthew Crawley, in an ugly car accident.‘The Walking Dead’ Fans Demand: Bring Back Beth!
December 11, 2014
After mom cries out in anguish and frustration on hearing the verdict, the ugly side of the protests rears its head.Michael Brown’s Stepfather Tells Crowd, ‘Burn This Bitch Down’
Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video
November 25, 2014
Adding fuel to the fire was an often ugly war of words between Mr. Gelb and the unions, both in the press and on social media.Inside the Metropolitan Opera’s Insane Year
Shawn E. Milnes
November 23, 2014
One of mine, as I have heretofore said, is to give an ugly likeness.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
"Because we have chosen what is bad, and do not know how ugly it is—that is why," answered her father.
But was it possible he should ever wake to see how ugly his conduct had been?
I could almost marry Strathay to save him from the ugly millioned girls!The Bacillus of Beauty
"You may be ugly, but ye've served me well," Saunders began.Quaint Courtships
- 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 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.
Idioms and Phrases with ugly
In addition to the idioms beginning with ugly
- ugly as sin
- ugly customer
- ugly duckling
- rear its ugly head