1. horrible or frightful to the senses; repulsive; very ugly: a hideous monster.
  2. shocking or revolting to the moral sense: a hideous crime.
  3. distressing; appalling: the hideous expense of moving one’s home to another city.


  1. extremely ugly; repulsivea hideous person
  2. terrifying and horrific

mid-14c., from hideous + -ly (2).


c.1300, “terrifying, horrible, dreadful,” from Anglo-French hidous, Old French hideus, earlier hisdos “hideous, horrible, awful, frightening” (11c.; Modern French hideux), from hisda “horror, fear,” perhaps of Germanic origin; or else from Vulgar Latin *hispidosus, from Latin hispidus “shaggy, bristly,” “[b]ut this presents numerous difficulties” [OED]. Meaning “repulsive” is late 14c.

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