Definition of monstrous in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmɒnstrəs/


1Having the ugly or frightening appearance of a monster: monstrous, bug-eyed fish
More example sentences
  • She may have had a beautiful, attractive body but once the fan went down, you would see a horrible, gruesome, monstrous, ugly face.
  • Overhead them was a huge, monstrous and extremely ugly bird drooling over them.
  • Then, bursting out from behind the trees, the same monstrous face appeared beneath a dark hood.
grotesque, hideous, ugly, ghastly, gruesome, horrible, horrid, horrific, horrendous, horrifying, grisly, disgusting, repulsive, repellent, revolting, nightmarish, dreadful, frightening, terrifying, fearsome, freakish, malformed, misshapen, unnatural, abnormal, mutant, miscreated
rare teratoid
2Inhumanly or outrageously evil or wrong: he wasn’t lovable, he was monstrous and violent it is a monstrous waste of money
More example sentences
  • These bogus safety issues and courses are a monstrous waste of money.
  • To those involved in any way with this monstrous evil, I say to you that this is your first and only chance.
  • There was something incredibly monstrous about the inhuman way it could not be stopped.
appalling, abhorrent, heinous, evil, wicked, abominable, terrible, horrible, dreadful, hideous, foul, vile;
villainous, nasty, ghastly, odious, loathsome, shameful, infamous, nefarious, iniquitous, unspeakable, intolerable, contemptible, despicable, vicious, cruel, savage, brutish, bestial, barbaric, barbarous, base, inhuman, depraved, fiendish, devilish, diabolical, satanic, ruthless, merciless
British informal beastly
3Extraordinarily and dauntingly large: the monstrous tidal wave swamped the surrounding countryside
More example sentences
  • I stood there in the middle of the hall watching a huge - enormous - monstrous suitcase.
  • Charlie's dad is an immense, monstrous presence at the centre of the film.
  • A beautiful dive at 20m, I saw huge coral formations and monstrous sea fans.
informal mega, monster, whopping, whopping great, thumping, thumping great, humongous, jumbo, hulking
British informal whacking, whacking great, ginormous



Pronunciation: /ˈmɒnstrəsli/
Example sentences
  • The proposals - which were widely condemned as monstrously intrusive and constituting a gross infringement of privacy and liberty - have been withdrawn for further consultation.
  • In the very next paragraph, he remarks: ‘It is monstrously premature to think that the threat has passed.
  • The public sector is still monstrously big and squeezes out the private sector.


Example sentences
  • The Nazi crimes, it seems to me, explode the limits of the law; and that is precisely what constitutes their monstrousness.
  • Probably they have become numb to the monstrousness of their actions.
  • The word homicide is wholly inadequate to convey the monstrousness of such a culture.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'strange or unnatural'): from Old French monstreux or Latin monstrosus, from monstrum (see monster). Current senses date from the 16th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mon|strous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.