ugly - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    someone who is ugly has a face that is unpleasant to look at. Ugly is an unkind word, so people often use the word plain instead, to avoid causing offence

    The other man was hideously ugly.

    She won’t wear T-shirts because she thinks her arms are ugly.

    1. a.
      something that is ugly is unpleasant to look at

      Do you think its frame makes the picture look ugly?

  2. 2
    very unpleasant

    an ugly rumour

    the ugly face of something (=the unpleasant aspect of it):

    Critics have described the policy as the ugly face of Republicanism.

  3. 3
    an ugly situation involves violent or angry behaviour

    There were ugly scenes following the match.

    turn ugly (=become unpleasant):

    The situation turned ugly when one of the police officers was hit by a rock.

derived word


noun [uncountable]
See also