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awful - Dictionary definition and meaning for word awful

(adj) exceptionally bad or displeasing
Example Sentence
  • atrocious taste
  • abominable workmanship
  • an awful voice
  • dreadful manners
  • a painful performance
  • terrible handwriting
  • an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room

(adj) causing fear or dread or terror
Example Sentence
  • 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

(adj) offensive or even (of persons) malicious
Synonyms : nasty
Example Sentence
  • 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?

(adj) inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence
Synonyms : awed
Example Sentence
  • awed by the silence
  • awful worshippers with bowed heads

(adj) extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact
Synonyms : frightful , terrible , tremendous
Example Sentence
  • in a frightful hurry
  • spent a frightful amount of money

(adj) inspiring awe or admiration or wonder
Synonyms : amazing , awe-inspiring , awesome , awing
Example Sentence
  • 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

(adv) used as intensifiers
Synonyms : awfully , frightfully , terribly
Example Sentence
  • terribly interesting
  • I'm awful sorry

Mnemonics (Memory Aids) for awful

aw(an exclamation used to express something which you don't consider good,or you disapprove of something)+ful.............and something which is full of aw is always very bad.
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