You searched for: “awful
awful (AW fuhl) (adjective), more awful, most awful
1. Used to describe something or someone as being dreadful, terrible, horrible, or ugly: What awful weather!

Jarrod was guilty of the awful crime of murder.

2. Used to describe something that is inspiring, awe-inspiring, wondrous; terrifying, dreadful, majestic, disquieting: The astronauts know the awful expanse of the solar system.
3. Etymology: some grammarians think awful still only means "awesome, inspiring awe, wondrous", etc. In current English, awful usually means "bad" or "unpleasant"; for example, such usage as: "This cold makes me feel awful," "That was an awful movie," are correct.

Good speakers and writers don't use the adjective awful when they mean the adverb "awfully". In expressions as "He's awful brave", or "We had an awful good time" are not considered acceptable usages in English.

They should be presented as, "He's awfully (very, exceptionally, extremely) brave", "We had an awfully (very, exceptionally, extremely) good time". Neither awful nor "awfully" should be used too often because there are many other synonyms which can be more precise, fresher, and that can add variety to a person's writing or speaking style.

—Compiled from and based on information located in
Family Word Finder, A New Thesaurus of Synonyms and Antonyms in Dictionary Form;
The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.; Pleasantville, New York; 1975; page 73.
This entry is located in the following unit: English Words in Action, Group A (page 7)