Something that's terribly bad is dreadful. Some people love going to the opera, but for others there's no more dreadful way to spend three hours.

Dreadful means "full of dread," "feeling a sense of dread," or "causing dread." Dread means fear or anxiety. The adjective dreadful can describe something truly devastating, like the dreadful aftermath of a tornado, or something that's awful on a more personal level, like a dreadful blind date. If it's bad, fearsome, or unpleasant, you can call it dreadful.

Definitions of dreadful
  1. adjective
    exceptionally bad or displeasing
    dreadful manners”
    synonyms: abominable, abysmal, atrocious, awful, painful, terrible, unspeakable, vile
    having undesirable or negative qualities
  2. adjective
    very unpleasant
    disagreeable to the senses, to the mind, or feelings
  3. adjective
    causing fear or dread or terror
    “a dreadful storm”
    synonyms: awful, dire, direful, dread, dreaded, fearful, fearsome, frightening, horrendous, horrific, terrible
    frightening because of an awareness of danger
Word Family