direful


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dire·ful

 (dīr′fəl)
adj.
1. Inspiring dread; terrible.
2. Foreshadowing evil or disaster; ominous.

dire′ful·ly adv.
dire′ful·ness n.

dire•ful

(ˈdaɪər fəl)

adj.
1. dreadful; awful; terrible.
2. indicating trouble: direful forecasts.
[1575–85]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.direful - causing fear or dread or terrordireful - causing fear or dread or terror; "the awful war"; "an awful risk"; "dire news"; "a career or vengeance so direful that London was shocked"; "the dread presence of the headmaster"; "polio is no longer the dreaded disease it once was"; "a dreadful storm"; "a fearful howling"; "horrendous explosions shook the city"; "a terrible curse"
alarming - frightening because of an awareness of danger

direful

adjective
References in classic literature ?
The most direful blow from the elephant's trunk were as the playful tap of a fan, compared with the measureless crush and crash of the sperm whale's ponderous flukes, which in repeated instances have one after the other hurled entire boats with all their oars and crews into the air, very much as an Indian juggler tosses his balls.
Those of the little band who escaped fled in consternation to the camp, and spread direful reports of the force and ferocity of the enemy.
They had been accustomed to each other's appearance, and to the gradual operation of hunger and hardship upon their frames, but the change in the looks of these men, since last they parted, was a type of the famine and desolation of the land; and they now began to indulge the horrible presentiment that they would all starve together, or be reduced to the direful alternative of casting lots!
First, Jemmy Tweedle felt on his hinder head the direful bone.
But, less inexorable than iron, steal, and brass, it brought its varying seasons even into that wilderness of smoke and brick, and made the only stand that ever was made in the place against its direful uniformity.
Startled from his lethargy by that direful cry, Jonah staggers to his feet, and stumbling to the deck, grasps a shroud, to look out upon the sea.
As if all these direful outrages were not the natural results of slavery
I always say there is something direful in the sound: but nothing more is positively known of the Tupmans, though a good many things I assure you are suspected; and yet by their manners they evidently think themselves equal even to my brother, Mr.
His heart almost ceased to beat as he quite naturally placed the most direful explanation upon the scene.
This he took in good part, and was really pleased, nodding his head with direful foreknowledge and mystery, until George Leach, the erstwhile cabin- boy, ventured some rough pleasantry on the subject.
All these dark and direful ceremonies being at length completed, the table was put aside, the chair of state removed, the sceptre locked up in its usual cupboard, the doors of communication between the three cellars thrown freely open, and the 'Prentice Knights resigned themselves to merriment.
It was often his delight, after his school was dismissed in the afternoon, to stretch himself on the rich bed of clover bordering the little brook that whimpered by his school-house, and there con over old Mather's direful tales, until the gathering dusk of evening made the printed page a mere mist before his eyes.