- The definition of awful is someone or something that is very displeasing or unpleasant to you.
If during a trip you suffered through sunburn, poison ivy, and the car broke down, that would be an example of an awful trip.
- Awful is defined as very much so or extremely.
If someone is really sick that is an example of someone being awful sick.
- inspiring awe; highly impressive
- causing fear; terrifying
- dreadful; appalling
- full of awe; reverential
- very bad, ugly, unpleasant, etc.: an awful joke
- Informal great: an awful lot of laughing
Origin: Middle English awful, agheful: see awe and amp; -ful
- awfulness noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible: had an awful day at the office.
- Commanding awe: “this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath” (Herman Melville).
- Filled with awe, especially:a. Filled with or displaying great reverence.b. Obsolete Afraid.
- Formidable in nature or extent: an awful burden; an awful risk.
Origin: Middle English aweful, awe-inspiring, blend of awe, awe; see awe, and *ayfull, awful (from Old English egefull : ege, dread + -full, -ful).
- awˈful·ly adverb
- awˈful·ness noun