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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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adjective awful pronunciation in American English /ˈɔf(ə)l/
  1. 1
    used for emphasizing how unpleasant someone or something is

    The smell was absolutely awful.

    This wine tastes awful.

    He had the awful feeling that everyone was laughing at him.

    These awful people behind us talked all through the movie.

    1. a.
      very bad at doing something

      I'm awful at remembering names.

      He's an awful actor.

    2. b.
      very cruel or unkind

      That's an awful thing to say.

      They committed the most awful atrocities.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of awful
    3. c.
      very serious or severe

      I was worried that something awful had happened to him.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of awful
  2. 2
    complete: used for emphasizing a particular quality

    I made an awful fool of myself last night, didn't I?

    It's an awful shame to waste all this good food.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of awful


derived word


noun [uncountable]


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