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3 definitions found
 for dreadful
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Dreadful \Dread"ful\, a.
     1. Full of dread or terror; fearful. [Obs.] "With dreadful
        heart." --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Inspiring dread; impressing great fear; fearful; terrible;
        as, a dreadful storm. " Dreadful gloom." --Milton.
        [1913 Webster]
              For all things are less dreadful than they seem.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Inspiring awe or reverence; awful. [Obs.] "God's dreadful
        law." --Shak.
     Syn: Fearful; frightful; terrific; terrible; horrible;
          horrid; formidable; tremendous; awful; venerable. See
          [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: causing fear or dread or terror; "the awful war"; "an
             awful risk"; "dire news"; "a career or vengeance so
             direful that London was shocked"; "the dread presence of
             the headmaster"; "polio is no longer the dreaded disease
             it once was"; "a dreadful storm"; "a fearful howling";
             "horrendous explosions shook the city"; "a terrible
             curse" [syn: awful, dire, direful, dread(a),
             dreaded, dreadful, fearful, fearsome,
             frightening, horrendous, horrific, terrible]
      2: exceptionally bad or displeasing; "atrocious taste";
         "abominable workmanship"; "an awful voice"; "dreadful
         manners"; "a painful performance"; "terrible handwriting";
         "an unspeakable odor came sweeping into the room" [syn:
         atrocious, abominable, awful, dreadful, painful,
         terrible, unspeakable]
      3: very unpleasant

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  178 Moby Thesaurus words for "dreadful":
     Bildungsroman, Gothic novel, abominable, alarming, appalling,
     arrant, astounding, atrocious, august, awe-inspiring, awesome,
     awful, awfully, bad, baneful, base, beastly, beneath contempt, big,
     blameworthy, brutal, comic novel, contemptible, damned, deadly,
     demonic, deplorable, despicable, detective novel, detestable,
     devilish, diabolical, dime novel, dire, direful, disgusting, dread,
     dreaded, dreadfully, egregious, enormous, epistolary novel,
     erotic novel, estimable, evil, exceedingly, feared, fearful,
     fearsome, fell, fetid, fiendish, filthy, flagitious, flagrant,
     forbidding, formidable, foul, frightening, frightful, fulsome,
     ghastly, ghoulish, grievous, grim, grisly, gross, gruesome,
     hateful, heinous, hideous, historical novel, honorable, horrendous,
     horrible, horrid, horrific, horrifying, howling, infamous,
     iniquitous, lamentable, loathsome, lousy, macabre, malefic,
     maleficent, malevolent, monstrous, morbid, nasty, nefarious,
     noisome, notorious, nouvelle, novel, novel of character,
     novel of ideas, novel of incident, novel of manners,
     novel of sensibility, novelette, novella, obnoxious, odious,
     offensive, outrageous, penny dreadful, picaresque novel, pitiable,
     pitiful, pornographic novel, problem novel, proletarian novel,
     propaganda novel, psychological novel, rank, rattling, redoubtable,
     regional novel, regrettable, remarkably, repelling, reprehensible,
     repugnant, repulsive, reverend, revolting, river novel, roman,
     roman a clef, roman-fleuve, rotten, rousing, sad, satirical novel,
     scandalous, scary, schlock, schrecklich, science-fiction novel,
     scurvy, sentimental novel, shabby, shameful, shilling,
     shilling shocker, shocking, shoddy, short story, short-short,
     sociological novel, sordid, squalid, storiette,
     stream-of-consciousness novel, strikingly, terrible, terrific,
     thesis novel, thumping, time-honored, too bad, tragic, tremendous,
     unclean, unspeakable, venerable, vignette, vile, villainous,
     whacking, wicked, woeful, worshipful, worst, worthless, wretched

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