Bad luck, an injury, a mistake, an unfortunate outfit, or a crime — anything can be called horrendous if it causes such dread or fear that you can barely even think about it.

If you’ve ever encountered something horrendous, you won’t be surprised to learn that the word traces back to the Latin word horrere, meaning "to bristle with fear, shudder." That’s a good way to think about horrendous things — they cause you to shudder. You can use the word to describe any type of thing — people, ideas, actions, and so on — but save it for those things that are not merely bad but instead are truly horrifying.

Definitions of horrendous
  1. adjective
    causing fear or dread or terror
    synonyms: awful, dire, direful, dread, dreaded, dreadful, fearful, fearsome, frightening, horrific, terrible
    frightening because of an awareness of danger
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘horrendous'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up horrendous for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer