Definition of horror noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈhɒrə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈhɔːrər//
    , NAmE//ˈhɑːrər//
    Disgust, Types of film, Fear
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  1. 1  [uncountable] a feeling of great shock, fear or disgust People watched in horror as the plane crashed to the ground. With a look of horror, he asked if the doctor thought he had cancer. The thought of being left alone filled her with horror. She recoiled in horror at the sight of an enormous spider. To his horror, he could feel himself starting to cry (= it upset him very much). Her eyes were wide with horror. See related entries: Disgust, Fear
  2. 2  [singular] a great fear or hatred of something horror of something a horror of deep water horror of doing something Most people have a horror of speaking in public.
  3. 3  [uncountable] the horror of something the very unpleasant nature of something, especially when it is shocking or frightening The full horror of the accident was beginning to become clear. In his dreams he relives the horror of the attack.
  4. 4  [countable, usually plural] a very unpleasant or frightening experience the horrors of war
  5. 5   [uncountable] a type of book, film/movie, etc. that is designed to frighten people In this section you'll find horror and science fiction. a horror film/movie see also horror story See related entries: Types of film
  6. 6[countable] (British English, informal) a child who behaves badly Her son is a little horror.
  7. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin horror, from horrere ‘tremble, shudder, (of hair) stand on end’.Extra examples Anna recoiled in horror as the spider approached. He had witnessed horrors committed by the enemy. He never experienced the full horrors of trench warfare. He realized with absolute horror that he no longer had the money. I used to regard public speaking as the ultimate horror. I’m trying to overcome my horror of insects. Imagine my horror when I discovered I’d be working for my ex-wife. She felt horror and pity at seeing Marcus so ill. She had a horror of pubs. She raised her hands in mock horror when she saw my new haircut. The possibility of meeting him again filled me with horror. The thought of working nights fills me with abject horror. They watched in horror as the aircraft crashed to the ground. They were trying to scare each other with horror stories about going to the dentist. To his horror, he saw a dead body lying beside the road. newspapers full of shock horror headlines He witnessed the horrors of civil war. His eyes were wide with horror. She recoiled in horror at the sight. There was a terrible look of horror on his face. They will never recover mentally from the horrors of that day. We heard from refugees of the horrors being perpetrated in the region. You wouldn’t believe the horrors they have suffered due to famine and disease.Idioms (humorous or ironic) used to emphasize how bad a situation is I stood up to speak and—horror of horrors—realized I had left my notes behind. (British English, informal, often humorous) used when you pretend to be shocked by something that is not really very serious or surprising see also shock-horror
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: horror