A*tro"cious (#), a. [L. atrox, atrocis, cruel, fierce: cf. F. atroce.]

1.

Extremely heinous; full of enormous wickedness; as, atrocious quilt or deeds.

2.

Characterized by, or expressing, great atrocity, great atrocity.

Revelations . . . so atrocious that nothing in history approaches them. De Quincey.

3.

Very grievous or violent; terrible; as, atrocious distempers.

[Obs.]

Cheyne.

Syn. -- Atrocious, Flagitious, Flagrant. Flagitious points to an act as grossly wicked and vile; as, a flagitious proposal. Flagrant marks the vivid impression made upon the mind by something strikingly wrong or erroneous; as, a flagrant misrepresentation; a flagrant violation of duty. Atrocious represents the act as springing from a violent and savage spirit. If Lord Chatham, instead of saying "the atrocious crime of being a young man," had used either of the other two words, his irony would have lost all its point, in his celebrated reply to Sir Robert Walpole, as reported by Dr. Johnson.

-- A*tro"cious*ly, adv. -- A*tro"cious*ness, n.

 

© Webster 1913.

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