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.
    • Spenser
      the ugly view of his deformed crimes
    • William Shakespeare
      O, I have passed a miserable night, / So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams.
  2. Displeasing to the ear or some other sense.
  3. Offensive to one's sensibilities or morality.
  4. 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



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.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Charles Kingsley to this entry?)


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).
    • 2011, P. A. Krishnan, Muddy River
      I move noiselessly, eat my food carefully without uglying the dining table with its remnants, fold my bedsheets in neat rectangles and place them on the bed in perfect symmetry.
    • 2014, Jonathan Crocker, A Dream of Hope and Sorrow
      He had spent half of his journey mulling over how he would savour his revenge. He could already envision her pretty little form lying prone at his feet. He would take great pleasure in uglying her up a little before killing her.


  • guly

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.