1550s, "an abnormality of growth," from Late Latin monstrositas "strangeness," from Latin monstrosus, a collateral form of monstruosus (source of French monstruosité), from monstrum "divine omen, portent, sign; abnormal shape; monster, monstrosity," figuratively "repulsive character, object of dread, awful deed, abomination," from root of monere "to admonish, warn, advise," from PIE *moneie-"to make think of, remind," suffixed (causative) form of root *men- (1) "to think."
Earlier form was monstruosity (c. 1400). Sense of "state or quality of being monstrous" is first recorded 1650s. Meaning "a monster" is attested from 1640s.
updated on February 23, 2019
Dictionary entries near monstrosity