Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “dreadful”

dreadful

adjective uk   /ˈdred.fəl/ us  
B2 very bad, of very low quality, or shocking and very sad: The food was bad and the service was dreadful. I was beginning to think I'd made a dreadful mistake. The news report was so dreadful that I just had to switch it off.Not of good qualityRubbish and wasteInformal words for badSerious and unpleasantNot attractive to look atInformal words for bad
(Definition of dreadful from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of dreadful?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “dreadful” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

flair

natural ability to do something well

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More