- The definition of hideous is something that is extremely ugly, terrible or unpleasant to see.
An extremely ugly outfit is an example of an outfit that would be described as hideous.
Origin of hideousMiddle English hidous ; from Anglo-French ; from Old French hidos ; from hide, hisde, fright
- Repulsive, especially to the sight; revolting. See Synonyms at ugly.
- Morally offensive; detestable: hideous acts of torture.
- Causing great harm or fear; terrible: a hideous disease.
Origin of hideousMiddle English, variant of hidous, from Anglo-Norman, from Old French hide, hisde, fear, possibly of Germanic origin.
(comparative more hideous, superlative most hideous)
- Frightful; shocking; extremely ugly.
- A piteous and hideous spectacle." Thomas Babington Macaulay.
- Distressing or offensive to the ear; horrible.
- Hateful; shocking.
- Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver. - William Shakespeare
- Nouns to which "hideous" is often applied: monster, creature, man, face, thing, crime, form, death, aspect, spectacle, picture, roar, sound, manner, way, disease, mistake, shape, dress, fact, act, smile.
From Middle English hidous, from Anglo-Norman hidous, from Old French hideus, hydus (“that which inspires terror”), from earlier hisdos, from hisda (“horror, fear”), of uncertain and disputed origin. Probably from Frankish *egisda, *egisida (“terror, fright”), from Proto-Germanic *agisiþō (“horror, terror”), from Proto-Germanic *agisōną (“to frighten, terrorise”), from Proto-Germanic *agaz (“terror, fear”), from Proto-Indo-European *aǵʰ-, *agʰ- (“to frighten”). Cognate with Old High German egisa, egidī (“horror”), Old English egesa (“fear, dread”), Gothic (agis, “fear, terror”).
Alternative etymology cites possbile derivation from Latin hispidosus (“rugged”), from hispidus (“rough, bristly”), yet the semantic evolution is less plausible.