awful - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    used for emphasizing how unpleasant someone or something is

    This wine tastes awful.

    These awful people behind us talked all through the film.

    The smell was absolutely awful.

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

    1. a.
      very bad at doing something

      I’m awful at remembering names.

      He’s an awful actor.

    2. b.
      very cruel or unkind

      They committed the most awful atrocities.

      That’s an awful thing to say.

       Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      very serious or severe

      I was worried that something awful had happened to him.

  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.

derived word