Definition of frightful in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrītfəl/


1Very unpleasant, serious, or shocking: there’s been a frightful accident
More example sentences
  • Returning from a picnic in Somerset, there was a frightful car accident.
  • A frightful accident occurred at the Gatehead Mill, Delph, Saddleworth yesterday afternoon.
  • Prepare for a competition of dire, hideous and frightful consequences.
1.1 informal Used for emphasis, especially of something bad: her hair was a frightful mess
More example sentences
  • My only fear is that it's so easy to laugh at politicians and their idiot supporters that you risk forgetting how evil and stupid they really are, allowing them to stumble their way into a frightful mess we all end up having to pay for.
  • The entire room was a frightful mess.
  • I wouldn't quite say that, but dogs don't argue with you like people do, and they always make such a frightful fuss when they see you.



Example sentences
  • The fact that they are increasingly referred to as ‘events’ underlines their frightfulness.
  • They saw at once its beauty and its frightfulness.
  • Nor can it outweigh the sporadic frightfulness of pain and despair that occurs every second of every day.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fright·ful

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