• WordNet 3.6
    • adj atrocious provoking horror "an atrocious automobile accident","a frightful crime of decapitation","an alarming, even horrifying, picture","war is beyond all words horrible"- Winston Churchill","an ugly wound"
    • adj atrocious 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 atrocious shockingly brutal or cruel "murder is an atrocious crime","a grievous offense against morality","a grievous crime","no excess was too monstrous for them to commit"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Atrocious Characterized by, or expressing, great atrocity. "Revelations . . . so atrocious that nothing in history approaches them."
    • Atrocious Extremely heinous; full of enormous wickedness; as, atrocious guilt or deeds.
    • Atrocious Very grievous or violent; terrible; as, atrocious distempers.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • atrocious Manifesting or characterized by atrocity; extremely heinous, criminal, or cruel; enormously or outrageously wicked.
    • atrocious Very grievous; violent: as, atrocious distempers.
    • atrocious Very bad; execrable: as, an atrocious pun. Synonyms Wicked, Scandalous, Shocking, Flagrant, Heinous, Infamous, Outrageous, Atrocious, Monstrous, horrible, villainous, flagitious, diabolical, agree in expressing great and intentional badness, calling for strong abhorrence. Because they are used with feeling, the recognition of their differences is not always practicable. Flagrant and heinous are hardly applicable to persons; the others apply to persons or things. Wicked is the generic word, and is the lightest where all are strong; it is the one that is most common in a playful use, yet it is at times an intense word, as forcible as any of the others, though less definite. Scandalous means offensive to decency, and so disgraceful. That which is shocking, literally, gives a sudden and heavy blow, and hence produces a corresponding feeling of horror or disgust, or both. That which is flagrant, literally, flames into notice, and hence is glaring, striking, and so notorious, enormous in badness. Heinous means hateful, and hence aggravated. That which is infamous is worthy of a total loss of reputation, and hence has a reputation or character of the worst kind, especially for baseness. Outrageous means attended with outrage, doing outrage, especially outraging decency, going beyond all bounds, like the acts of a madman. Atrocious is primarily fierce or cruel, savage, bloody, and wicked, enormously wicked, hence violating the first principles of humanity or of human nature. That which is monstrous is so bad as to be out of the course of nature; a prodigy or miracle of badness. See abandoned, criminal, irreligious, and nefarious.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Atrocious a-trō′shus extremely cruel or wicked: heinous: very grievous: execrable
    • ***


  • Publius Cornelius Tacitus
    “All things atrocious and shameless flock from all parts to Rome.”
  • Frank Moore Colby
    “The New York playgoer is a child of nature, and he has an honest and wholesome regard of whatever is atrocious in art.”
  • Arthur Rimbaud
    “But, truly, I have wept too much! The Dawns are heartbreaking. Every moon is atrocious and every sun bitter.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. atrox, atrocis, cruel, fierce: cf. F. atroce,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. atrox, atrocis, cruel—ater, black.


In literature:

Thus possession of Enna was retained, by an act which was either atrocious or unavoidable.
"The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six" by Titus Livius
The robbery appeared to them atrocious, and they were indignant at my recrimination on their excellent master.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol IV." by Editors: Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
Then their manners are so atrociously savage.
"The World of Waters" by Mrs. David Osborne
This, my son, was murdered in the most atrocious manner by a bloody monster of an Indian.
"Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers" by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft
His lips were sealed to me, as mine were to him, by the promise which we had taken, but I contented myself with muttering 'Atrocious!
"The Exploits Of Brigadier Gerard" by Arthur Conan Doyle
The atrociousness of a crime, depends greatly upon the nature, character, and condition of the victim.
"The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4" by American Anti-Slavery Society
Here then, my dear Sir, you may perceive something of the atrocious proceedings in the island of Jamaica.
"The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 2 of 4" by American Anti-Slavery Society
The atrociousness of a crime, depends greatly upon the nature, character, and condition of the victim.
"The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus" by American Anti-Slavery Society
How atrociously absurd to suppose any motive capable of inducing such a man to play the part of a lurking assassin?
"Caleb Williams" by William Godwin
Your own life, John, would be the forfeit of such an atrocious proceeding.
"Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII" by various

In poetry:

A wretch once doom'd, tho' rich and strong,
His faithful horse to bleed,
But tell his fate, my moral song,
For that atrocious deed!
"The Fatal Horse" by William Hayley
Our angel with our devil meets
In the atrocious dark nor do they part
But each forgives and greets,
And their mutual terrors heal
Within our married miracle.
"The Trance" by Stephen Spender

In news:

When I was a kid, I had a friend whose mom's name was Hermine — which, admittedly, is an atrocious name.
Here's their latest atrociously formatted press release advertising their "summer prix fixe" menu.
It was an absolutely atrocious call by the home plate umpire, one of the worst you'll ever see in a baseball game.
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- Eddie Butler saved the Rockies from what looked to be an atrocious ending to the Montana road-trip.
Turkey's behavior has been atrocious in recent years.
The writing by E L James is atrocious.
Special Ed In Seattle Public Schools "Atrocious," "Heartbreaking," Say Parents.
Special Ed In Seattle Public Schools "Atrocious," " Heartbreaking ," Say Parents.
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa mastered atrocious conditions to win the red flag-shortened Malaysian Grand Prix and keep his championship hopes alive on the drenched Sepang International Circuit.
Obama's rather atrocious performance yesterday got me thinking.
In a case of atrocious timing, Knicks superstar Amar'e Stoudemire chose Gay Pride weekend to hurl a homophobic slur at a fan on Twitter.
It's a case of animal abuse so atrocious, not just because of the condition of the animal, but because it could have been prevented.
After scientists created an "acoustic black hole" using Bose-Einstein condensates, our good friends over at Underwire pounded out a list of atrocious albums to throw into the sonic sucker.
With Eli Manning out and a secondary that looked atrocious against the Cowboys this could be a big day for Brett Favre and Green Bay.
As this week's LinkedIn and eHarmony--and likely, demonstrate, many website users continue to pick atrocious, easily cracked passwords.