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horrible

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes on a kindred heart, like the converged light on a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness. It is not perfected till it is shared.
Jane Porter
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English

Etymology

First attested in Middle English[1] (alternately as horrible and orrible)[2] in 1303[3]: from Old French[1][2] horrible[3], from [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] horribilis[1][2][3], from horr(ēre) (bristle with fear[2][3]; shudder[3]; stand on end[2]; tremble[1]) + -ibilis (-ible)[2].

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
horrible

Plural
{{{1}}}

horrible ({{{1}}})
  1. A thing that causes horror; a terrifying thing, particularly a prospective bad consequence asserted as likely to result from an act.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick
      Here's a carcase. I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. Such a waggish leering as lurks in all your horribles!
    • 1982, United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, The Genocide Convention: Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate
      A lot of the possible horribles conjured up by the people objecting to this convention ignore the plain language of this treaty.
    • 1991, Alastair Scott, Tracks Across Alaska: A Dog Sled Journey
      The pot had previously simmered skate wings, cods' heads, whales, pigs' hearts and a long litany of other horribles.
    • 2000, John Dean, CNN interview, January 21, 2000:
      I'm trying to convince him that the criminal behavior that's going on at the White House has to end. And I give him one horrible after the next. I just keep raising them. He sort of swats them away.
    • 2001, Neil K. Komesar, Law's Limits: The Rule of Law and the Supply and Demand of Rights
      Many scholars have demonstrated these horribles and contemplated significant limitations on class actions.
  2. A person wearing a comic or grotesque costume in a parade of horribles.

Translations

Adjective

horrible (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})

Positive
horrible

Comparative
{{{1}}}

Superlative
{{{2}}}

  1. Causing horror; terrible; shocking.
  2. Tremendously wrong or errant.

Quotations

(causing horror, terrible)

  • "Some of us have had plastic surgery on our faces and fingerprints. Right now we have a horrible job; we're waiting for the war to begin and, as quickly, end." - Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953
  • "Strangers fainted dead away at the sight of the Laughing Man's horrible face. Acquaintances shunned him." - The Laughing Man, J. D. Salinger, The New Yorker, March 19, 1949

(tremendously wrong or errant)

  • "Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house." - My Life and Hard Times, James Thurber, 1933

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

References

  • Notes:
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1·1)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

French

Pronunciation

Adjective

horrible (plural: horribles)

  1. horrible; causing horror.

Spanish

Adjective

horrible m. and f. (plural horribles)

  1. horrible

Related terms

Elsewhere on the web

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