horrible, horrid

Each of these words means "dreadful," "extremely unpleasant or disagreeable," "abominable." One can speak of "a horrid disease" or "a horrible disease" with equal meaning and emphasis. Both words are intensives, that is, terms that have a strong emotional meaning and that usually exaggerate what is actually in mind. Consequently, horrible and horrid should be used thoughtfully and sparingly. Few acts, conditions, or thoughts can truly be said to cause horror, an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting. Perhaps slightly less forceful words may, on occasion, be more apt: shocking, fearful, horrendous, dismaying, frightening, startling, intimidating, scary, alarming.

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • horrible - horrid - horrific - horrifying - horrendous — All of these words except horrid can be used to describe a very unpleasant and shocking event, experience, or story. ...an imaginary torture, perhaps, but all the more horrible. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life.… …   Useful english dictionary

  • horrible — 1 Horrible, horrid, horrific, horrendous mean inspiring horror or abhorrence. Horrible (see also FEAR FUL 2) is the general term for what inspires horror {some . . . horrible form, which might deprive your sovereignty of reason Shak.} {wrongs and …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • horrible — [14] The Latin verb horrēre was used for hair standing on end or bristling. A common cause of this phenomenon is of course fear, and so in due course horrēre came to mean ‘tremble, shake, be filled with fear and revulsion’. The latter sense has… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • horrible — [14] The Latin verb horrēre was used for hair standing on end or bristling. A common cause of this phenomenon is of course fear, and so in due course horrēre came to mean ‘tremble, shake, be filled with fear and revulsion’. The latter sense has… …   Word origins

  • horrid — See horrible, horrid …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • horrible — See horrible, horrid …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • Horrid Henry — is a fictional character created by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross. The first Horrid Henry book was written and published in 1994 by Orion Books and as of the end of 2010, there have been nineteen titles published, as well as… …   Wikipedia

  • horrid — (adj.) early 15c., hairy, shaggy, bristling, from L. horridus bristly, prickly, rough, horrid, frightful, from horrere to bristle with fear, shudder (see HORROR (Cf. horror)). Meaning horrible, causing horror is from c.1600. Sense weakened 17c.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Horrible Science — is a spin off series of books of Horrible Histories written by Nick Arnold (with the exception of Evolve or Die , which is written by Phil Gates), illustrated by Tony de Saulles and published in the UK and India by Scholastic. They are designed… …   Wikipedia

  • Horrid — Hor rid, a. [L. horridus. See {Horror}, and cf. {Ordure}.] 1. Rough; rugged; bristling. [Archaic] [1913 Webster] Horrid with fern, and intricate with thorn. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. Fitted to excite horror; dreadful; hideous; shocking; hence,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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