Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Shockingly hideous or frightful.
  • adj. Exceptionally large; enormous: a monstrous tidal wave.
  • adj. Deviating greatly from the norm in appearance or structure; abnormal.
  • adj. Of or resembling a fabulous monster.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. hideous or frightful
  • adj. enormously large
  • adj. freakish or grotesque
  • adj. of, or relating to a mythical monster

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Marvelous; strange.
  • adj. Having the qualities of a monster; deviating greatly from the natural form or character; abnormal.
  • adj. Extraordinary in a way to excite wonder, dislike, apprehension, etc.; -- said of size, appearance, color, sound, etc.
  • adj. Extraordinary on account of ugliness, viciousness, or wickedness; hateful; horrible; dreadful.
  • adj. Abounding in monsters.
  • adv. Exceedingly; very; very much.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of unnatural formation; deviating greatly from the natural form or structure; out of the common course of nature: as, a monstrous birth or production.
  • Enormous; huge; prodigious; unparalleled.
  • Shocking; hateful; horrible: as, a monstrous delusion.
  • Full of monsters or strange creatures.
  • Synonyms Abnormal.
  • Prodigious, vast, colossal, stupendous.
  • Wicked, Atrocious, etc. (see atrocious).
  • Exceedingly; extremely; wonderfully: as, monstrous difficult.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. shockingly brutal or cruel
  • adj. abnormally large
  • adj. distorted and unnatural in shape or size; abnormal and hideous

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French monstruos, from Latin mōnstruōsus, from mōnstrum, portent, monster; see monster.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • If I were assembling an all-star touring band called "The Monsters of Jazz," the first guy I'd call would be James Carter: At 42, the saxophonist has chops, technique, concepts and energy enough to justify several definitions of the term "monstrous."

    Classic Keys, Vital Organs

  • He said he saw the car, a red four-door, coming and the "spreader," which he called a "monstrous vehicle," locked up its brakes and "was deafening, just screeching."

    Driver charged after 5 Amish farmers killed in crash

  • Tennis star Martina Hingis (ph) abruptly retired today while denying what she called monstrous accusations that she tested positive for cocaine during this year's Wimbledon Tennis Tournament.

    CNN Transcript Nov 1, 2007

  • Among what they called your monstrous follies, which was the worst, the most damnable?

    The Wandering Jew — Volume 06

  • The only reason I don't consider Card monstrous is because I think he's sick.

    "What do YOU do when your favorite author turns out to be a puppy-kicker?"

  • While certain monstrous characters might not be exactly protagonists, Gwen's conflict is more intangible than, say, making sure she stakes the right vampire.

    'I, Zombie' is new creature feature from Vertigo Comics

  • It is also asked whether we are to believe that certain monstrous races of men, spoken of in secular history, have sprung from Noah's sons, or rather, I should say, from that one man from whom they themselves were descended.

    September 2nd, 2009

  • They hold no terms with this belief, which they call monstrous, and assert that it is impossible for a man of good sense ever to have believed in it.

    A Philosophical Dictionary

  • It comes out first in monstrous boulders which may weigh anything up to twenty tons.

    The Road to Wigan Pier

  • And so monstrous is the fecundity of the beasts that the offspring of every one of them has, or at any rate claims to have, the largest circulation in the world.

    The Newspaper Press

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  • Mrs Jennings soon came in. "Oh! Colonel," said she, with her usual noisy cheerfulness. "I am monstrous glad to see you-..."

    July 9, 2010