• WordNet 3.6
    • adj dreadful causing fear or dread or terror "the awful war","an awful risk","dire news","a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked","the dread presence of the headmaster","polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was","a dreadful storm","a fearful howling","horrendous explosions shook the city","a terrible curse"
    • adj dreadful exceptionally bad or displeasing "atrocious taste","abominable workmanship","an awful voice","dreadful manners","a painful performance","terrible handwriting","an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"
    • adj dreadful very unpleasant
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dreadful Full of dread or terror; fearful. "With dreadful heart."
    • Dreadful Inspiring awe or reverence; awful. "God's dreadful law."
    • Dreadful Inspiring dread; impressing great fear; fearful; terrible; as, a dreadful storm. "Dreadful gloom.""For all things are less dreadful than they seem."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dreadful I. Full of dread or fear.
    • dreadful Full of respect, honor, or veneration.
    • dreadful Exciting or attended by great dread, fear, or terror; terrible; formidable; direful: as, a dreadful storm; a dreadful invasion.
    • dreadful Awful; venerable; awe-inspiring.
    • dreadful Synonyms Fearful, Frightful, etc. (see awful); terrific, horrible, horrid, dire, direful, tremendous.
    • n dreadful That which is fearful or terrible: used only in the phrases penny dreadful, shilling dreadful, to denote a tale of vulgar sensationalism sold at a small price, or a cheap sensational newspaper or periodical.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Dreadful (orig.) full of dread: producing great fear or awe: terrible
    • ***


  • Jean Paul
    “Without God there is for mankind no purpose, no goal, no hope, only a wavering future, an eternal dread of every darkness.”
  • Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott
    “People don't have fortunes left them in that style nowadays; men have to work and women to marry for money. It's a dreadfully unjust world.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”
  • Seneca
    “He who dreads hostility too much is unfit to rule.”
  • George Bernard Shaw
    “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
  • Albert Camus
    “After all, every murderer when he kills runs the risk of the most dreadful of deaths, whereas those who kill him risk nothing except promotion.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
M. E. dreden—A.S. on-drǽdan, to fear; Ice. ondréda, Old High Ger. in-tratan, to be afraid.


In literature:

I had no dread of ghostly visitors.
"Dick Onslow" by W.H.G. Kingston
He seemed to dread me far more than I dreaded him.
"Will Weatherhelm" by W.H.G. Kingston
It was dreadfully cold that night, and we could not get at our bag of blankets.
"Southern Arabia" by Theodore Bent
The noise was dreadful; the shriek that the mare gave echoed through the March woods.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
If you will only give me back my key and let me lock my door I wouldn't have such dreadful nightmares.
"A Modern Tomboy" by L. T. Meade
She doubted his sincerity, and felt dread of both father and son.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
He was, however, drawn into an ambuscade, and dreaded the loss of his whole army.
"Fox's Book of Martyrs" by John Foxe
During that dreadful hour Sir Peregrine had told her the whole story; and very dreadful that hour had been to her.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
It was very dreadful to watch one human being after another engulfed in the hungry ocean.
"Old Jack" by W.H.G. Kingston
Suddenly a dreadful thought occurred to me.
"A Voyage round the World" by W.H.G. Kingston

In poetry:

“There is no place,” he said,
“For love or pity here;
We dread and only dread
The moods that once were dear.
"The Power Of Hell" by John Le Gay Brereton
And the first man they would bury there
Was Judas Iscariot;
And that was as dreadful a burying
As ever was, I wot.
"The Ballad of Lost Souls" by John Oxenham
His seat is hid in mystery,
Myriads of holy ones in dread,
His ministers in lowlihead,
Surround His awful Majesty.
"My Lord And King" by Shlomo ibn Gabirol
"Well I knew the dreadful signs
In the whispers of the pines,
In the river roaring loud,
In the mutter of the cloud.
"The Truce of Piscataqua" by John Greenleaf Whittier
In mercy, not in wrath, rebuke
Thy feeble worm, my God!
My spirit dreads thine angry look,
And trembles at thy rod.
"Pleading For Mercy" by John Newton
And now, as nears the dreaded hour.
Her goal the nearer grows,
And hope, the stimulus of life,
Her weary bosom glows.
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon

In news:

To reassure those suffering from triskaidekaphobia there was no dark looming structure that evoked emotions like fear, dread, or some black sense of foreboding.
Big Youth Black Man Message Dread Locks Dread Virgin in the Uk 3:13 AM.
In an era of reduced TV watching, The Pro Bowl, a meaningless, dreadful game drew the highest ratings in 11 years.
Online retailers like Overstock .com understand that when virtual shoppers endure a dreadful customer experience, other choices are just one click away.
Papillon (1973): A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.
Remember taking that driving test, and you had to do a 3-point turn, back up straight, and perform the dreaded parallel park for the state trooper that held your driving future in his/her hands.
I have always dreaded "picture Day".
GOP's Rightward Shift, General Polarization, Fills Political Scientist With Dread.
Japanese Beetle is the most dreaded pest on roses in Midwestern and Eastern parts of the USA and Canada.
Fearing the dreaded possibility of being stuck in postdoc limbo, researchers at this stage of their career often don't have access to (or don't know where to go to find) resources related to career development.
Throughout the 2012 Elite season, he fished in cold, hot, prefrontal and dreaded postfrontal days.
Those staccato monosyllables still evoke within me a mixture of dread and delight, nearly twenty-five years on.
Homeowners might get something in the mail that they might dread.
Dreaded words that every runner has heard: "You'd better stop running or you'll blow your knees out".
Even though Mellow Mushroom has been open only about eight months, its dreadful service is already legendary.

In science:

The resulting algorithms avoid the dreaded combinatorial explosion of the double description method; moreover, they offer incremental output and are well-suited to parallelisation, progress tracking and early termination.
Computational topology with Regina: Algorithms, heuristics and implementations
Given the dreadful events of last Tuesday we were all a little distracted.
Summary and Outlook for 9th International Symposium on Heavy Flavor Physics
The productivity and pleasure of this workshop is overshadowed by the dreadful loss of our friend and colleague Thomas Binoth, and we dedicate these proceedings to him.
THE TOOLS AND MONTE CARLO WORKING GROUP Summary Report from the Les Houches 2009 Workshop on TeV Colliders
But will it lead us to enlightenment, or to disillusionment and chaos?” In a dramatic way, the strong hint as of late July for the (dreaded by most) ∼ 140 GeV Higgs boson diminished by end of August, and dropped from view by December 13.
Some Unfinished Thoughts on Strong Yukawa Couplings
Clark Barwick, On the Dreaded Right Bousfield Localization , arXiv:0708.3435 [math.
A general context for Goodwillie Calculus