[ UK /dɹˈɛdfə‍l/ ]
[ US /ˈdɹɛdfəɫ/ ]
  1. exceptionally bad or displeasing
    abominable workmanship
    a painful performance
    an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room
    terrible handwriting
    dreadful manners
    an awful voice
    atrocious taste
  2. extremely disagreeable and unpleasant
    don't go out, the weather is dreadful
  3. causing fear or dread or terror
    the awful war
    a fearful howling
    the dread presence of the headmaster
    dire news
    a terrible curse
    an awful risk
    a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked
    horrendous explosions shook the city
    a dreadful storm
    polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was
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How To Use dreadful In A Sentence

  • I should have been side by side with you in your existence, having for my only care not to disarrange the cover of my dreadful pit. Les Miserables
  • My poor Lirriper was a handsome figure of a man, with a beaming eye and a voice as mellow as a musical instrument made of honey and steel, but he had ever been a free liver being in the commercial travelling line and travelling what he called a limekiln road — “a dry road, Emma my dear,” my poor Lirriper says to me, “where I have to lay the dust with one drink or another all day long and half the night, and it wears me Emma” — and this led to his running through a good deal and might have run through the turnpike too when that dreadful horse that never would stand still for a single instant set off, but for its being night and the gate shut and consequently took his wheel, my poor Lirriper and the gig smashed to atoms and never spoke afterwards. Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings
  • It was dreadful, because if people are famished and dying you have to do intensive feeding seven or eight times a day.
  • It is dreadfully sad to reflect that he grew up in such a short time and in such tragic circumstances. Times, Sunday Times
  • But I have to say, I did fast forward through that dreadful speech by the odious brother and through the drippy prayers from the drippy archbish.
  • As I write this, Neil and Christine Hamilton, as if in dreadful warning to him, are appearing on Hole in the Wall. Edwina Currie, Bobby Davro and Lembit Opik
  • With the floor of the channel shallowing from 200 metres to 60 metres and at the same time a rock pinnacle, like a finger, rising up from the sea bed to 29 metres from the surface, there is no surprise that the whirlpool was once described as a 'conflux so dreadful that it spurns all description. Found While Looking for Something Else
  • Before you turn the page, wondering why I've chosen such a dreadful piece of sugary sentimentalism for this week's painting, give Greuze's grieving girl a second glance.
  • Man might think that he's the most intelligent life form on earth but this is simply a dreadful mistake.
  • It is also a sovereign remedy for the dreadful _chiragra_ or gout. Japhet in Search of a Father
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