Definition of dreadful in English:


Line breaks: dread|ful
Pronunciation: /ˈdrɛdfʊl
, -f(ə)l/


  • 2 [attributive] Used to emphasize the degree to which something is the case, especially something regarded with sadness or disapproval: this was all a dreadful mistake you’re a dreadful flirt
    More example sentences
    • Six weeks on from the dreadful mistake which has left Miss Innes in a coma, her friends and family are awaiting the outcome of the hospital's own internal investigation and inquiries by the family lawyer.
    • We made these dreadful mistakes, we didn't realise what was to come.
    • Two years ago, I made the dreadful mistake of deciding with a long-term boyfriend that we would eat with his family that year, and mine the next.
    outrageous, shocking; inordinate, immoderate, unrestrained; great, tremendous



More example sentences
  • Any inclination to take any of this seriously is rapidly seen off by the kitschy dreadfulness of much of the writing.
  • But does it follow from the special dreadfulness of the events of the twentieth century that the blossoming of a tree can no longer be seen by a decent, sensitive person without the shadow of terror falling upon it?
  • The mask alters the revelation in a fascinating way, both buffering and intensifying its dreadfulness, creating the conflicting desire to hang on every word while also pulling back to decipher the visual power and artifice of the scene.

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Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively