Etymology
Advertisement

dreadful (adj.)

early 13c., "full of dread or fear, timid," from dread (n.) + -ful. Meaning "causing dread, exciting terror" is from c. 1200; weakened sense of "very bad" is by 1680s. Related: Dreadfully; dreadfulness.

updated on October 08, 2018

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of dreadful from WordNet

dreadful (adj.)
causing fear or dread or terror;
a dreadful storm
Synonyms: awful / dire / direful / dread / dreaded / fearful / fearsome / frightening / horrendous / horrific / terrible
dreadful (adj.)
exceptionally bad or displeasing;
dreadful manners
dreadful (adj.)
extremely disagreeable and unpleasant;
don't go out, the weather is dreadful
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.