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AWFUL

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does awful mean? 

AWFUL (adjective)
  The adjective AWFUL has 6 senses:

1. exceptionally bad or displeasing
2. causing fear or dread or terror
3. offensive or even (of persons) malicious
4. inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence
5. extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact
6. inspiring awe or admiration or wonder

  Familiarity information: AWFUL used as an adjective is common.


AWFUL (adverb)
  The adverb AWFUL has 1 sense:

1. used as intensifiers

  Familiarity information: AWFUL used as an adverb is very rare.


 Dictionary entry details 


AWFUL (adjective)


Sense 1awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Exceptionally bad or displeasing

Synonyms:

awful; unspeakable; terrible; dreadful; atrocious; abominable; painful

Context examples:

atrocious taste / abominable workmanship / an awful voice / dreadful manners / a painful performance / terrible handwriting / an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room

Similar:

bad (having undesirable or negative qualities)


Sense 2awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Causing fear or dread or terror

Synonyms:

fearsome; frightening; fearful; dreadful; dreaded; dread; direful; terrible; horrendous; horrific; awful; dire

Context examples:

the awful war / an awful risk / dire news / a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked / the dread presence of the headmaster / polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was / a dreadful storm / a fearful howling / horrendous explosions shook the city / a terrible curse

Similar:

alarming (causing alarm or fear)


Sense 3awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Offensive or even (of persons) malicious

Synonyms:

nasty; awful

Context examples:

in a nasty mood / a nasty accident / a nasty shock / a nasty smell / a nasty trick to pull / Will he say nasty things at my funeral?

Similar:

hateful; mean (characterized by malice)

grotty (very unpleasant or offensive)

dirty; filthy; lousy (vile; despicable)

Also:

unpleasant (disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings)

Attribute:

nastiness (the quality of being unpleasant)


Sense 4awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence

Synonyms:

awed; awful

Context examples:

awed by the silence / awful worshippers with bowed heads

Similar:

reverent (feeling or showing profound respect or veneration)


Sense 5awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact

Synonyms:

frightful; tremendous; terrible; awful

Context examples:

in a frightful hurry / spent a frightful amount of money

Similar:

extraordinary (beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable)

Domain usage:

colloquialism (a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech)


Sense 6awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Inspiring awe or admiration or wonder

Synonyms:

awe-inspiring; awesome; awing; amazing; awful

Context examples:

New York is an amazing city / the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight / the awesome complexity of the universe / this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath / Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent

Similar:

impressive (making a strong or vivid impression)


AWFUL (adverb)


Sense 1awful [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Used as intensifiers

Synonyms:

awful; awfully; frightfully; terribly

Context examples:

terribly interesting / I'm awful sorry

Domain usage:

colloquialism (a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech)


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Long absent, soon forgotten." (English proverb)

"Measure twice, cut once." (Bulgarian proverb)

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch." (American proverb)

"He who seeks, finds." (Corsican proverb)

 AWFUL: related words searches 

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