Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “frightful”

frightful

adjective     /ˈfraɪt.fəl/ old-fashioned informal
used to emphasize what you are saying, especially how bad something is: He made a frightful mess in the kitchen. Of course the cleaning is a frightful bore.Serious and unpleasantNot attractive to look atInformal words for bad
(Definition of frightful adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of frightful

Definitions of “frightful” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

neighbourly

friendly or helpful

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