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Definitions and Synonyms of awful | Another word for awful | What is awful?

Definition 1: offensive or even (of persons) malicious - [adjective denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • 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?

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) vile; despicable

"a dirty (or lousy) trick" "a filthy traitor"

(awful is similar to ...) very unpleasant or offensive

"a grotty little play"

(awful is similar to ...) characterized by malice

"a hateful thing to do" "in a mean mood"

(means also ...) offensive or disagreeable; causing discomfort or unhappiness

"an unpleasant personality" "unpleasant repercussions" "unpleasant odors"

(... are attributes of awful) the quality of being highly unpleasant

"I flinched at the nastiness of his wound"

Definition 2: used as intensifiers - [adverb denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • terribly interesting
  • I'm awful sorry

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is used in the usage domain ...) a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech

Definition 3: causing fear or dread or terror - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • 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

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) frightening because of an awareness of danger

Definition 4: exceptionally bad or displeasing - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

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

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) having undesirable or negative qualities

"a bad report card" "his sloppy appearance made a bad impression" "a bad little boy" "clothes in bad shape" "a bad cut" "bad luck" "the news was very bad" "the reviews were bad" "the pay is bad" "it was a bad light for reading" "the movie was a bad choice"

Definition 5: extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • in a frightful hurry
  • spent a frightful amount of money

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) beyond what is ordinary or usual; highly unusual or exceptional or remarkable

"extraordinary authority" "an extraordinary achievement" "her extraordinary beauty" "enjoyed extraordinary popularity" "an extraordinary capacity for work" "an extraordinary session of the legislature"

(awful is used in the usage domain ...) a colloquial expression; characteristic of spoken or written communication that seeks to imitate informal speech

Definition 6: inspiring awe or admiration or wonder - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • 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

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) making a strong or vivid impression

"an impressive ceremony"

Definition 7: inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence - [adjective satellite denoting all]

Samples where awful or its synonyms are used according to this definition

  • awed by the silence
  • awful worshippers with bowed heads

Synonyms for awful in the sense of this definition

(awful is similar to ...) feeling or showing profound respect or veneration

"maintained a reverent silence"

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