ugly

ugly (adj.) mid-13c., uglike "frightful or horrible in appearance," from O.N. uggligr "dreadful, fearful," from uggr "fear, apprehension, dread" (perhaps related to agg "strife, hate") + -ligr "-like." Meaning softened to "very unpleasant to look at" late 14c. Extended sense of "morally offensive" is attested from c.1300; that of "ill-tempered" is from 1680s.
Among words for this concept, ugly is unusual in being formed from a root for "fear, dread." More common is a compound meaning "ill-shaped" (e.g. Gk. dyseides, L. deformis, Ir. dochrud, Skt. ku-rupa). Another Germanic group has a root sense of "hate, sorrow" (see LOATH (Cf. loath)). Ugly duckling (1877) is from the story by Hans Christian Andersen, first translated from Danish to English 1846. Ugly American "U.S. citizen who behaves offensively abroad" is first recorded 1958 as a book title.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • ugly — ugly, hideous, ill favored, unsightly are comparable when they mean contrary to what is beautiful or pleasing especially to the sight. Ugly is the comprehensive term which may apply not only to what is distasteful to the sight but also to the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Ugly — Ug ly, a. [Compar. {Uglier}; superl. {Ugliest}.] [Icel. uggligr fearful, dreadful; uggr fear (akin to ugga to fear) + ligr (akin to E. ly, like). ??. Cf. {Awe}.] 1. Offensive to the sight; contrary to beauty; being of disagreeable or loathsome… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ugly — may refer to:* Ugly (song), a Sugababes song * Ugly (album), a Life of Agony album * Ugly (Blaque song), a song from the band Blaque * Ugly (House), the seventy seventh episode of the television series House * Ugly (single), a single from Bubba… …   Wikipedia

  • ugly — [ug′lē] adj. uglier, ugliest [ME uglike < ON uggligr, fearful, dreadful < uggr, fear, prob. < IE base * ak̑ , sharp > Gr akē, a point] 1. unpleasing to look at; aesthetically offensive or unattractive; unsightly 2. bad, vile,… …   English World dictionary

  • ugly — [adj1] unattractive animal, appalling, awful, bad looking, beastly, deformed, disfigured, foul, frightful, grisly, gross, grotesque, hard featured, hideous, homely, horrid, illfavored, loathsome, misshapen, monstrous, not much to look at*, plain …   New thesaurus

  • Ugly — Ug ly, v. t. To make ugly. [R.] Richardson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ugly — Ug ly, n. A shade for the face, projecting from the bonnet. [Colloq. Eng.] C. Kingsley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ugly — index loathsome, odious, repulsive, scandalous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • UGLY — Duckling Corporation (Business » Firms) * Unique Gifted Lovable You (Miscellaneous » Funnies) * U Got To Love Yourself (Community) * U Gotta Love Yourself (Community » Religion) * Understanding Generous Loveable You (Internet » Chat) *… …   Abbreviations dictionary

  • ugly — ► ADJECTIVE (uglier, ugliest) 1) unpleasant or repulsive in appearance. 2) hostile or threatening; likely to involve unpleasantness. DERIVATIVES uglify verb ugliness noun. ORIGIN from Old Norse, to be dreaded …   English terms dictionary

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