Appalling refers to something that is causing shock or horror, or is very bad or unpleasant.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



Shocking, dreadful, horrifying, frightening, terrible, awful, alarming


Pleasant, delightful, good, appealing, comforting

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun appallings, appalling
Verb appal
Adjective appalling
Adverb appallingly

Example Sentences

  • The condition of the prison was absolutely appalling, with no proper sanitation or ventilation.

  • The company’s treatment of its workers was appalling, with long hours, low pay, and no benefits.

  • The news of the terrorist attack was truly appalling, with so many innocent people losing their lives.

  • The state of the environment is appalling, with pollution and deforestation taking a heavy toll on our planet.


The word “appalling” is used to describe something that is very bad, shocking or unpleasant. It can be used to describe a variety of situations or things, such as a terrible crime, an appalling living condition, or an alarming situation. The word is often used to emphasize the severity of a situation, and to convey a sense of horror or disgust.

The prefix “ap-” means “to” or “towards”, and the root word “pall” means “to become pale or lose color”, which gives the word its sense of shock or horror. The word “appalling” is commonly used in journalism, literature, and everyday conversation to describe something that is extremely bad or unpleasant.

In some contexts, the word “appalling” can be seen as subjective or emotive, and therefore it is important to use it with care. It is often used to express a strong personal opinion or reaction to something, rather than an objective statement of fact. Therefore, it is important to use the word “appalling” judiciously, and to ensure that it accurately reflects the situation or thing being described.