synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of ugly in English

English Online Dictionary. What means ugly‎? What does ugly mean?


Alternative forms

  • ougly (obsolete)


From Middle English ugly, uggely, uglike, borrowed from Old Norse uggligr (fearful, dreadful, horrible in appearance), from uggr (fear, apprehension, dread) (possibly related to agg (strife, hate)), equivalent to ug +‎ -ly. Cognate with Scots ugly, uglie, Icelandic ugglegur. Meaning softened to "very unpleasant to look at" around the late 14th century, and sense of "morally offensive" attested from around 1300.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʌɡli/
  • Rhymes: -ʌɡli


ugly (comparative uglier, superlative ugliest)

  1. Displeasing to the eye; not aesthetically pleasing.
  2. Displeasing to the ear or some other sense.
  3. Offensive to one's sensibilities or morality.
  4. (Southern US) Ill-natured; crossgrained; quarrelsome.
  5. Unpleasant; disagreeable; likely to cause trouble or loss.

Related terms

  • ug


  • (displeasing to the eye): hideous, homely, repulsive, unattractive, uncomely, unsightly
  • (displeasing to the ear or some other sense): displeasing, repulsive, unattractive
  • (offensive to one's sensibilities or morality): corrupt, immoral, vile
  • See also Thesaurus:ugly


  • (displeasing to the eye): attractive, beautiful, gorgeous, handsome, pretty, sightly
  • (displeasing to the ear or some other sense): attractive, pleasing
  • (offensive to one's sensibilities or morality): moral

Derived terms


  • Sranan Tongo: ogri



ugly (countable and uncountable, plural uglies)

  1. (slang, uncountable) Ugliness.
    • 2009: Lady Gaga and RedOne, "Bad Romance":
      I want your ugly / I want your disease.
  2. (slang) An ugly person or thing.
  3. (Britain, informal, dated) A shade for the face, projecting from a bonnet.
    • 1857, Charles Kingsley, Two Years Ago
      blue uglies



ugly (third-person singular simple present uglies, present participle uglying, simple past and past participle uglied)

  1. (transitive, nonstandard) To make ugly (sometimes with up).


  • guly

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