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English definition of “awful”

awful

adjective uk   /ˈɔː.fəl/ us    /ˈɑː-/

awful adjective (BAD)

A2 extremely bad or unpleasant: He suffered awful injuries in the crash. We had awful weather. She's got an awful boss. What an awful thing to say! Would life be so awful without a car? The food was awful. She'd been ill and she looked awful.Not of good qualityRubbish and wasteInformal words for badSerious and unpleasantNot attractive to look atInformal words for bad

awful adjective (VERY GREAT)

B2 [before noun] very great: I don't know an awful lot (= very much) about art, but I'm learning. Fortunately it won't make an awful lot of difference if I don't pass the test. It was an awful risk to take.Very and extremeComplete and wholeIntensifying expressions
awfulness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
You can't appreciate the true/sheer awfulness of war until you've actually experienced it.Not of good qualityRubbish and wasteInformal words for badSerious and unpleasantNot attractive to look atInformal words for bad
(Definition of awful from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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