verb (appals, appalling, appalled)[with object]
- Those who aren't outraged are merely appalled, if not by the lyrics, by the production.
- I was similarly appalled at the condition of the park on my last visit to my home village two years ago.
- He looked shocked and appalled by this and turned his attention onto Alex.
Like abhor, appal has its origin in the physical effect of being horrified. Old French apalir meant both ‘to grow pale’ and ‘to make pale’, and these senses were carried over into the English word in the 14th century. As shock or disgust can make the colour drain from your face, appal soon acquired its current meaning.
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