[ uhg-lee ]
See synonyms for: uglyugliness on

adjective,ug·li·er, ug·li·est.
  1. very unattractive or unpleasant to look at; offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance.

  2. disagreeable; unpleasant; objectionable: ugly tricks;ugly discords.

  1. morally revolting: ugly crime.

  2. threatening trouble or danger: ugly symptoms.

  3. mean; hostile; quarrelsome: an ugly mood;an ugly frame of mind.

  4. (especially of natural phenomena) unpleasant or dangerous: ugly weather;an ugly sea.

Origin of ugly

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English ugly, uglike, from Old Norse uggligr “fearful, dreadful,” equivalent to ugg(r) “fear” + -ligr -ly

Other words for ugly

Opposites for ugly

Other words from ugly

  • ug·li·ly, adverb
  • ug·li·ness, noun
  • su·per·ug·ly, adjective

Words Nearby ugly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ugly in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ugly


/ (ˈʌɡlɪ) /

adjective-lier or -liest
  1. of unpleasant or unsightly appearance

  2. repulsive, objectionable, or displeasing in any way: war is ugly

  1. ominous or menacing: an ugly situation

  2. bad-tempered, angry, or sullen: an ugly mood

Origin of ugly

C13: from Old Norse uggligr dreadful, from ugga fear

Derived forms of ugly

  • uglily, adverb
  • ugliness, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with ugly


In addition to the idioms beginning with ugly

  • ugly as sin
  • ugly customer
  • ugly duckling

also see:

  • rear its ugly head

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.