awful

Definitions

  • "I love that old man, and wish him awful well."
    "I love that old man, and wish him awful well."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj awful 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 awful 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 awful inspiring awe or admiration or wonder "New York is an amazing city","the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight","the awesome complexity of the universe","this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath"- Melville","Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent"
    • adj awful offensive or even (of persons) malicious "in a nasty mood","a nasty accident","a nasty shock","a nasty smell","a nasty trick to pull","Will he say nasty things at my funeral?"- Ezra Pound"
    • adj awful extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact "in a frightful hurry","spent a frightful amount of money"
    • adj awful inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence "awed by the silence","awful worshippers with bowed heads"
    • adv awful used as intensifiers "terribly interesting","I'm awful sorry"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

She took a awful cold She took a awful cold
A woman hates to give in awful, so I suggested a compromise on California A woman hates to give in awful, so I suggested a compromise on California
Awful appearance of the Shade of Remus to Romulus Awful appearance of the Shade of Remus to Romulus

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Some of the other names that were thought of for the dwarfs in the Disney movie "Snow White" were Awful, Dirty, Shifty, Hotsy, and Jumpy
    • Awful Frightful; exceedingly bad; great; -- applied intensively; as, an awful bonnet; an awful boaster.
    • Awful Inspiring awe; filling with profound reverence, or with fear and admiration; fitted to inspire reverential fear; profoundly impressive. "Heaven's awful Monarch."
    • Awful Oppressing with fear or horror; appalling; terrible; as, an awful scene. "The hour of Nature's awful throes."
    • Awful Struck or filled with awe; terror-stricken. "A weak and awful reverence for antiquity."
    • Awful Worshipful; reverential; law-abiding. "Thrust from the company of awful men."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • awful Striking or inspiring with awe; filling with dread, or dread mingled with profound reverence: as, the awful majesty of Jehovah; the awful approach of death.
    • awful Of a dreadful character; causing fear or horror; terrible; appalling: as, an awful disaster; I heard an awful shriek.
    • awful Inspiring or commanding respect, reverence, or obedience.
    • awful Expressive of or indicating deep awe, as for the Deity.
    • awful Impressed with or exhibiting respect or reverence, as for authority; law-abiding; respectful in the extreme.
    • awful Having some character in an extreme or noticeable degree; excessive; very great; extraordinary; preposterous: as, he is an awful dandy; that is an awful bonnet.
    • awful Synonyms and Awful, Dreadful, Fearful, Frightful, solemn, imposing, majestic; dread, dire, dreadful, terrible. The first four of these words are often loosely or colloquially used to express dislike, detestation, or horror, but should in the main retain the same distinctions of meaning as the nouns from which they are derived. Thus, awful is full of awe, full of that which inspires awe, exciting a feeling of deep solemnity and reverence, often with a certain admixture of fear, acting especially upon the imagination (see reverence, n.); the suggestion may shift in all degrees from awe to horror: as, an awful steamboat explosion.
    • awful Dreadful is applied to what inspires dread, that is, an oppressive fear of coming evil, and loosely to what is very bad. Fearful, full of fear, impressing fear: as, “a certain fearful looking for of judgment,” Heb. x. 27. Frightful, not full of fright, but inspiring fright or sudden and almost paralyzing fear. An awful sight; a dreadful disaster; a fearful leap; a frightful chasm.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Awful full of awe: dreadful: inspiring respect: expressive of awe:
    • Awful (slang) ugly: and as a mere intensive of anything
    • ***

Quotations

  • Jesse Owens
    Jesse Owens
    “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
  • Logan Pearsall Smith
    Logan%20Pearsall%20Smith
    “How awful to reflect that what people say of us is true!”
  • Emma Goldman
    Emma%20Goldman
    “Heaven must be an awfully dull place if the poor in spirit live there.”
  • Terry Anderson
    Terry Anderson
    “People are capable of doing an awful lot when they have no choice and I had no choice. Courage is when you have choices.”
  • T. S. Eliot
    T.%20S.%20Eliot
    “The awful daring of a moment's surrender which an age of prudence can never retract.”
  • Samuel Beckett
    Samuel%20Beckett
    “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful.”

Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ice. agi, A.S. ege, fear; cog. with Gael. eaghal; Gr. achos, anguish.

Usage

In literature:

They stare at me something awful.
"The Combined Maze" by May Sinclair
What an awful lot of books you've got!
"Hepsey Burke" by Frank Noyes Westcott
What an awful trial to my poor brother-in-law!
"Hollyhock" by L. T. Meade
She is an awful tattler, and if I don't keep her squared, she peaches on me.
"Battling the Clouds" by Captain Frank Cobb
Her face was shining, her eyes were full of light, she was awful.
"The Rainbow" by D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
Say, Miss Weir, when she comes down, ask her whether he's married or not, aw, do.
"Treasure Valley" by Marian Keith
Tars Tarkas was approaching me rapidly, and still more rapidly came the awful horde at his heels.
"The Gods of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The body of Captain Oldham was found, awfully mutilated, beneath a sail.
"King Philip" by John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
Mamma's lumbago's awful bad.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
He feared what awful sight his eyes might encounter.
"The Hound From The North" by Ridgwell Cullum
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In poetry:

A father lean
Upon the scene,
Looks awful mean--
(Curtain.)
"Vitascope Pictures" by Edwin Carty Ranck
Great God!
Behold, I lie
Beneath Thine awful eye,
As the sea beneath the sky.
"A Prayer: Vespers" by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
Oh, day of awful story—
Jesus is dead!
Sad end to hope of glory—
Jesus is dead!
"He Is Not Here, But Is Risen!" by Daniel Webster Moody
Where she stands, our mother Mary,
In her human majesty,
Nearest to the sanctuary
Of the awful Trinity.
"The Annunciation" by Digby Mackworth Dolben
We saw the crimson leave her cheeks
Flame in her eyes;
For when a woman lives in awful haste
A woman dies.
"To A Cabaret Dancer" by Djuna Barnes
An awful truth does here present,
Whoever think it odd;
In him thou art omnipotent,
Thy Husband is a God.
"The Believer's Jointure : Chapter I." by Ralph Erskine

In news:

Tyler Perry as 'Alex Cross' doesn't make for an awful movie, but it's also not a great one (C).
CLEARWATER, Fla.—This has been an awfully strange game between South Florida and Illinois.
Aw, look at those frisky, frolicsome creatures up there, in their bright tufted costumes and motley makeup.
Despite an awful previous week for President Obama that included a "day the roof fell in" the president is up 3.1 points in the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls with 51 days to go.
"My mom, bless her heart, was an awful cook," drawls Larry Perdido .
A Perplexing Foe Takes an Awful Toll.
When perusing the coming new fall television offerings, you're faced with a grim reality: Most of them look awful.
The next word sounded an awful lot like "checkers".
On June 19, the Rockies were 25-40 and their starting pitchers were historically awful.
Why China's manufacturing report was ' plainly awful'.
The AWS-50 has genuine gold plating on the 4-, 5- and 6-millimeter hex wrench extensions.
Product number AWS-50 will retail for $30.
1 Ingram Dl, Pearson Aw, Occhiuti Ar.
There are some awfully strange looking dogs out at the Hank Anderson III Community Park in Carrboro these days.
Jiminy Christmas, that Romney video is awful.
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In science:

We believe that this flaw is present because the dense fishnets completely freeze out both fluctuations in the number of field quanta and fluctuations in the distribution of P + along string.
A Six Vertex Model on a Fishnet
This can be considered as a virtue or as a flaw of the approach, depending on the goal one is pursuing.
Statistical ensemble of scale-free random graphs
This is perhaps a flaw, but on the whole the virtues of the two approaches seem complementary.
Statistical ensemble of scale-free random graphs
But no one recognized this as an inherent flaw in the linear congruential generators.
Monte Carlo: Basics
Consider the case when S = {a, w} consists of two symbols, and the substitutions are aw → w, w → aw.
Gibbs and Quantum Discrete Spaces
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