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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Latin atrōx (cruel, fierce, frightful), from āter (black) +‎ -ous.

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

atrocious (comparative more atrocious, superlative most atrocious)

  1. Frightful, evil, cruel, or monstrous.
    Prisons have been the sites of atrocious mistreatment of prisoners.
  2. Offensive or heinous.
    • 1818, anonymous [Mary Shelley], chapter VIII, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744; republished as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein: Or, The Modern Prometheus […] In Two Volumes, volume I, new (2nd) edition, London: Printed for G. and W. B. Whittaker, Ave-Maria-Lane, 1823, OCLC 270812039, page 143:
      I had resolved in my own mind, that to create another like the fiend I had first made would be an act of the basest and most atrocious selfishness; and I banished from my mind every thought that could lead to a different conclusion.
  3. Very bad; abominable, disgusting.
    Their taste in clothes is just atrocious.
    • 1851 October 18, Herman Melville, “The Town-Ho’s Story. (As Told at the Golden Inn.)”, in The Whale, 1st British edition, London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 14262177; republished as Moby Dick or The White Whale (Famous Sea Stories), Boston, Mass.: The St. Botolph Society, 53 Beacon Street, 1892 (February 1922 printing), OCLC 237074, page 239:
      Others of the sailors joined with them in this attempt, and a twisted turmoil ensued; while standing out of harm's way, the valiant captain danced up and down with a whale-pike, calling upon his officers to manhandle that atrocious scoundrel, and smoke him along to the quarter-deck.
    • 1897 November, Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity, New York, N.Y.: Macmillan, OCLC 853124046; republished as The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: Grosset & Dunlap, publishers, January 1898 (March 1912 printing), OCLC 4748647, page 58:
      The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. The three returned wondering and charmed with Mrs. Cooke; they were sure she had had no hand in the furnishing of that atrocious house.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.