Skip to main content


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.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"ugly." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . 18 Sep. 2019 <>.

"ugly." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . (September 18, 2019).

"ugly." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.