Frightful vs Dismal - What's the difference?

frightful | dismal | Related terms |

Frightful is a related term of dismal.

As adjectives the difference between frightful and dismal

is that frightful is (obsolete): full of fright; affrighted; frightened while dismal is disappointingly inadequate.



(Webster 1913)

Alternative forms

* frightfull (archaic)


(en adjective)
  • (obsolete): Full of fright; affrighted; frightened.
  • *
  • Full of that which causes fright; exciting alarm; impressing terror; shocking; as, a frightful chasm, or tempest; a frightful appearance.
  • (Used as an intensifier)
  • We wasted a frightful amount of money on renovations.


    * terrible * dreadful * alarming * fearful * terrific * awful * horrid * horrible * shocking




    (en adjective)
  • Disappointingly inadequate.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2012, date=April 22, author=Sam Sheringham, work=BBC Sport
  • , title= Liverpool 0-1 West Brom , passage=Liverpool's efforts thereafter had an air of desperation as their dismal 2012 league form continued.}}
  • Gloomy and bleak.
  • Depressing.
  • *, chapter=12
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients , passage=So, after a spell, he decided to make the best of it and shoved us into the front parlor. 'Twas a dismal sort of place, with hair wreaths, and wax fruit, and tin lambrekins, and land knows what all. It looked like a tomb and smelt pretty nigh as musty and dead-and-gone.}}

    Usage notes

    * Nouns to which "dismal" is often applied: failure, performance, state, record, place, result, scene, season, year, economy, future, fate, weather, news, condition, history.


    * See also

    Derived terms

    * dismal science