awful Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “awful” in the English Dictionary

"awful" in British English

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awfuladjective

uk   /ˈɔː.fəl/  us   /ˈɑː-/
  • awful adjective (BAD)

A2 extremelybad 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) aboutart, but I'm ​learning. Fortunately it won't make an awful lot ofdifference if I don't ​pass the ​test. It was an awful ​risk to take.

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

"awful" in American English

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awfuladjective

 us   /ˈɔ·fəl/
very ​bad, ​unpleasant, or of ​lowquality: The ​weather was awful the ​wholetime – ​cold and ​wet. Fox TV has ​canceled the ​truly awful ​sitcom "Monty" after a ​short tryout. Awful also ​means very ​great or ​large: We're ​spending an awful ​amount of ​money!
(Definition of awful from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“awful” in British English

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