What does frightful mean?

Definitions for frightful
ˈfraɪt fəlfright·ful

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word frightful.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. atrocious, frightful, horrifying, horrible, uglyadjective

    provoking horror

    "an atrocious automobile accident"; "a frightful crime of decapitation"; "an alarming, even horrifying, picture"; "war is beyond all words horrible"- Winston Churchill; "an ugly wound"

  2. frightful, terrible, awful, tremendousadjective

    extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact

    "in a frightful hurry"; "spent a frightful amount of money"

  3. fearful, frightfuladjective

    extremely distressing

    "fearful slum conditions"; "a frightful mistake"


  1. frightfuladjective

    Full of fright; affrighted; frightened.

  2. frightfuladjective

    Full of that which causes fright; exciting alarm; impressing terror; shocking; as, a frightful chasm, or tempest; a frightful appearance.

  3. Etymology: From frightful, from forhtful, equivalent to.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Frightfuladjective

    Etymology: from fright.

    Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy,
    Thy schooldays frightful, desp’rate, wild, and furious. William Shakespeare.

    Without aid you durst not undertake
    This frightful passage o’er the Stygian lake. John Dryden, Æn.


  1. frightful

    Fear is an intensely unpleasant emotion in response to perceiving or recognizing a danger or threat. Fear causes physiological changes that may produce behavioral reactions such as mounting an aggressive response or fleeing the threat. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a certain stimulus occurring in the present, or in anticipation or expectation of a future threat perceived as a risk to oneself. The fear response arises from the perception of danger leading to confrontation with or escape from/avoiding the threat (also known as the fight-or-flight response), which in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) can be a freeze response or paralysis. In humans and other animals, fear is modulated by the process of cognition and learning. Thus, fear is judged as rational or appropriate and irrational or inappropriate. An irrational fear is called a phobia. Fear is closely related to the emotion anxiety, which occurs as the result of threats that are perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. The fear response serves survival by engendering appropriate behavioral responses, so it has been preserved throughout evolution. Sociological and organizational research also suggests that individuals' fears are not solely dependent on their nature but are also shaped by their social relations and culture, which guide their understanding of when and how much fear to feel.Fear is sometimes incorrectly considered the opposite of courage. For the reason that courage is a willingness to face adversity, fear is an example of a condition that makes the exercise of courage possible.


  1. frightful

    Frightful is an adjective describing something that causes fear, dread, or alarm due to its intensity or terrible nature. It refers to anything that is horrifying, shocking, or extremely unpleasant.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Frightfuladjective

    full of fright; affrighted; frightened

  2. Frightfuladjective

    full of that which causes fright; exciting alarm; impressing terror; shocking; as, a frightful chasm, or tempest; a frightful appearance

How to pronounce frightful?

How to say frightful in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of frightful in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of frightful in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of frightful in a Sentence

  1. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

    There is nothing more frightful than imagination without taste.

  2. Boileau:

    Gold gives the appearance of beauty even to ugliness; but everything becomes frightful with poverty.

  3. Johann von Goethe:

    There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

  4. Henry Ford:

    Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.

  5. Sydney Smith:

    Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.

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Translations for frightful

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"frightful." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/frightful>.

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    A omphalos
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