[ US /ˈfɹaɪtfəɫ/ ]
[ UK /fɹˈa‍ɪtfə‍l/ ]
  1. provoking horror
    an ugly wound
    an atrocious automobile accident
    an alarming, even horrifying, picture
    a frightful crime of decapitation
    war is beyond all words horrible
  2. extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact
    spent a frightful amount of money
    in a frightful hurry
  3. extremely distressing
    fearful slum conditions
    a frightful mistake
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How To Use frightful In A Sentence

  • Reproof with threats sore terror, frightful malison. The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night
  • We may almost believe that the disorder is born with them, like their frightful plica. A Philosophical Dictionary
  • I identified the frightful ingredients masking the mixtures of tannin and powdered carbon with which the fish was embalmed; and I penetrated the disguise of the marinated meats, painted with sauces the colour of sewage; and I diagnosed the wine as being coloured with fuscin, perfumed with furfurol, and enforced with molasses and plaster. Là-bas
  • Then they sent St. Edmund a message to say that he must give up half his kingdom and pay heavy taxes, or they would do the most terrible "frightfulness" throughout the land. Stories of the Saints by Candle-Light
  • Bhaiya, meanwhile, sent self-pitying letters from near Delhi where he was undergoing military training of his own trials in a world that he found ‘frightfully Poona: chukka, pukka, whisky soda and tiffin: still, I exist.’ Chaplin’s Girl
  • Get it right and everybody says how frightfully clever and amusing you are. Times, Sunday Times
  • She was gritting her teeth, making frightful grimaces, snarling, uttering sharp and continuous cries that sounded like "kh-ah! kh-ah! CHAPTER III
  • The bloodhounds, known as the seducer, the libertine, the procurer, are upon her track; she is trembling on the frightful brink of the abyss. Searchlights on Health The Science of Eugenics
  • 'enchain' a rational conversation, but nothing could I get out of him but rhapsodies about you in the frightfullest English that I ever heard out of a human head! Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle
  • On Christmas Eve he started on his journey, and the next four years were spent among convicts in a prison at Omsk. He has described his experiences there in his “Memories of the House of the Dead” (1853) —experiences which, though frightful in the extreme, seem to have strengthened rather than injured him in body and mind, though they may have embittered his temper. Biographical Note
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