views updated

ug·ly / ˈəglē/ • adj. (-li·er , -li·est ) unpleasant or repulsive, esp. in appearance: she thought she was ugly and fat the ugly sound of a fire alarm | [as n.] (the ugly) he instinctively shrinks from the ugly. ∎  (of a situation or mood) involving or likely to involve violence or other unpleasantness: the mood in the room turned ugly. ∎  unpleasantly suggestive; causing disquiet: ugly rumors persisted that there had been a cover-up. ∎  morally repugnant: racism and its most ugly manifestations, racial attacks and harassment.DERIVATIVES: ug·li·fi·ca·tion / ˌəgləfiˈkāshən/·li·fy / ˈəgləˌfī/·li·ly / -ləlē/·li·ness n.ORIGIN: Middle English: from Old Norse uggligr ‘to be dreaded,’ from ugga ‘to dread.’