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English definition of “awful”

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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 has 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.
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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.
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awfulness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
You can't appreciate the true/sheer awfulness of war until you've actually experienced it.
(Definition of awful from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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