aw·ful / ˈôfəl/ • adj. 1. very bad or unpleasant: the place smelled awful I look awful in a swimsuit. ∎ extremely shocking; horrific: awful, bloody images. ∎ used to emphasize the extent of something, esp. something unpleasant or negative: I've made an awful fool of myself. ∎ (of a person) very unwell, troubled, or unhappy: I felt awful for being so angry with him.2. archaic inspiring reverential wonder or fear.• adv. inf. awfully; very: we're an awful long way from the main road.PHRASES: an awful lot a very large amount; a great deal.DERIVATIVES: aw·ful·ness n.