Definition of "awful" []

  • Extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible: had an awful day at the office. (adjective)
  • Commanding awe: "this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath” ( Herman Melville). (adjective)
  • Filled with awe, especially: (adjective)
  • Filled with or displaying great reverence. (adjective)
  • Obsolete Afraid. (adjective)
  • Very bad; unpleasant (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Inspiring reverence or dread (adjective)
  • Overcome with awe; reverential (adjective)
  • (intensifier) (adverb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "awful" in a sentence
  • ""It is an awful, _awful_ thing that the boys of Polktown can even get hold of such stuff to make them so ill.""
  • ""Yer takin 'awful chances, miss -- just _awful_," warned the neighbor, edging backward toward her house with the air of having completed her duty."
  • "“Oh, Jack, you awful, _awful_ liar, what shall I say to you?”"