Definition of horrendous adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//həˈrendəs//
    ; NAmE NAmE//həˈrendəs//
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  1. 1extremely shocking synonym horrific, horrifying horrendous injuries The police officer said the attack was the most horrendous he had ever seen.
  2. 2(informal) extremely unpleasant and unacceptable synonym terrible horrendous traffic They have horrendous financial problems. Some speakers do not pronounce the ‘h’ at the beginning of horrendous and use ‘an’ instead of ‘a’ before it. This now sounds old-fashioned. Synonymsterribleawful horrible dreadful vile horrendousThese words all describe something that is very unpleasant.terrible very bad or unpleasant; making you feel unhappy, frightened, upset, ill, guilty or disapproving:What terrible news! That’s a terrible thing to say!awful (rather informal) very bad or unpleasant; used to describe something that you do not like or that makes you feel depressed, ill, guilty or disapproving:That’s an awful colour. The weather last summer was awful.horrible (rather informal) very unpleasant; used to describe something that you do not like:The coffee tasted horrible.dreadful (rather informal, especially British English) very bad or unpleasant; used to describe something that you do not like or that you disapprove of:What dreadful weather!vile (informal) extremely bad or unpleasant:There was a vile smell coming from the room. He was in a vile mood.horrendous (rather informal) extremely unpleasant and unacceptable:The traffic around the city was horrendous.Patterns terrible/​awful/​horrible/​dreadful for somebody a(n) terrible/​awful/​horrible/​dreadful/​vile thing a(n) terrible/​awful/​horrible/​vile smell terrible/​awful/​horrible/​dreadful/​vile/​horrendous conditions terrible/​awful/​horrible/​dreadful/​vile weather terrible/​awful/​dreadful news
  3. Word Originmid 17th cent.: from Latin horrendus (gerund of horrere ‘(of hair) stand on end’) + -ous.Extra examples The conditions in the camp were absolutely horrendous. a pretty horrendous experience She had sustained horrendous injuries. The traffic around the city was horrendous. The whole experience was just horrendous.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: horrendous