1. [ adjective ] exceptionally bad or displeasing
Synonyms: unspeakable terrible dreadful painful abominable atrocious

"atrocious taste" "abominable workmanship" "an awful voice" "dreadful manners" "a painful performance" "terrible handwriting" "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room"

Related terms: bad
2. [ adverb ] (informal) used as intensifiers, as in "terribly interesting"
Synonyms: terribly awfully frightfully

"I'm awful sorry"

Related terms: colloquialism
3. [ adjective ] causing fear or dread or terror
Synonyms: terrible dreadful frightening fearful dreaded horrific direful horrendous fearsome dread dire

"the awful war" "an awful risk" "dire news" "a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked" "the dread presence of the headmaster" "a dreaded disease" "a dreadful storm" "a fearful howling"

Related terms: alarming
4. [ adjective ] inspired by a feeling of fearful wonderment or reverence
Synonyms: awed

"awed by the silence" "awful worshippers with bowed heads"

Related terms: reverent
5. [ adjective ] offensive or even (of persons) malicious
Synonyms: nasty

"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

Related terms: nice hateful dirty unpleasant grotty unpleasant nastiness
6. [ adjective ] inspiring awe or admiration or wonder
Synonyms: amazing awe-inspiring awing awesome

"New York is an amazing city" "the Grand Canyon is an awe-inspiring sight" "the awesome complexity of the universe" "Westminster Hall's awing majesty, so vast, so high, so silent"

Related terms: impressive
Similar spelling:   awfully