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1. Repulsive, especially to the sight; revolting. See Synonyms at ugly.
2. Morally offensive; detestable: hideous acts of torture.
3. Causing great harm or fear; terrible: a hideous disease.

[Middle English, variant of hidous, from Anglo-Norman and Old French hideus, hisdeus, probably from Old French hisde, hide, horror, fright (probably from alteration, with expressive initial h, of Frankish *egisida, fright, from Germanic *agisōn, from *agiz, fear), or perhaps from Vulgar Latin *hispidōsus, horripilating (from Latin hispidus, rough, shaggy, bristly; probably akin to hirsūtus, hairy, hirsute).]

hid′e·os′i·ty (-ŏs′ĭ-tē) n.
hid′e·ous·ly adv.
hid′e·ous·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hideousness - dreadful ugliness; horrible repulsiveness
ugliness - qualities of appearance that do not give pleasure to the senses


The quality or condition of being ugly:


nGrauenhaftigkeit f, → Scheußlichkeit f


(ˈhidiəs) adjective
extremely ugly. a hideous vase.
ˈhideously adverb
ˈhideousness noun
References in classic literature ?
With reference to the Polar bear, it may possibly be urged by him who would fain go still deeper into this matter, that it is not the whiteness, separately regarded, which heightens the intolerable hideousness of that brute; for, analysed, that heightened hideousness, it might be said, only arises from the circumstance, that the irresponsible ferociousness of the creature stands invested in the fleece of celestial innocence and love; and hence, by bringing together two such opposite emotions in our minds, the Polar bear frightens us with so unnatural a contrast.
It might escape the hideousness of sin, but the hideousness of age was in store for it.
Not even the water she brought him in a forest-leaf, and the ancient and half-putrid chunk of roast pig, could redeem in the slightest the grotesque hideousness of her.
These new institutions, these justices of the peace, rural councils, what hideousness it all is
There was no need for silence or caution now; and yet, as they stood about the squat and ugly figure, which, in spite of its hideousness, was worth a fortune intrinsically and as an antique, they heard from the direction of the stone passage a noise.
And thus, through the serene tranquillities of the tropical sea, among waves whose hand-clappings were suspended by exceeding rapture, Moby Dick moved on, still withholding from sight the full terrors of his submerged trunk, entirely hiding the wrenched hideousness of his jaw.
Straggling upon the outskirts were the thatched huts of natives, picturesque in their primeval savagery, harmonizing with the background of tropical jungle and accentuating the squalid hideousness of the white man's pioneer architecture.
The sunken cheeks were rendered yet more ghastly by the rows of glistening teeth which protruded from between the lips, while the sockets of the eyes--filled with oval bits of mother-of-pearl shell, with a black spot in the centre--heightened the hideousness of its aspect.
Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors and looking them piteously in the eyes -- die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed.
My daughters tell me it doesn't matter at my age--as if hideousness didn't matter all the more the harder it gets to conceal
There were too many people, provincials with foolish faces, foreigners poring over guide-books; their hideousness besmirched the everlasting masterpieces, their restlessness troubled the god's immortal repose.
The days and nights of torture that the young woman suffered were so merged into one long, unbroken nightmare of hideousness that she soon lost all track of time.