very bad or unpleasant [= terrible]:
The weather was awful.
He is a pretty awful driver.
That fridge smells awful.
The last six months have been awful for her.
I've stopped believing most of what he says. Isn't that awful?
I'm sure Suzy is dead but the awful thing is not knowing how it happened.
2 [only before noun] spoken
used to emphasize how much or how good, bad etc something is:
An awful lot of people (=a large number of people) died in the war.
He made me feel an awful fool.
to look or feel ill:
She's lost a lot of weight and she looks awful.
making you feel great respect or fear
—awfulness noun [uncountable]WORD FOCUS: bad
very bad: awful, terrible, horrible, lousy informal, appalling, ghastly, atrocious, horrendous
bad, but not very bad: not very good, mediocre, second-rate, so-so, lacklustre
of bad quality: shoddy, inferior, poor quality, cheap, crummy informal
bad at doing something: be no good at something
very bad at doing something: hopeless, terrible, useless, lousy informal, incompetent
morally bad: evil, wicked, immoral, corrupt, sick, perverted, degenerate
➔ See also bad