1550s, "abnormality of growth," from Late Latin monstrositas "strangeness," from Latin monstrosus, a collateral form of monstruosus (source of French monstruosité); see monster. Earlier form was monstruosity (c. 1400). Sense of "quality of being monstrous" is first recorded 1650s. Meaning "a monster" is attested from 1640s.
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