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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Appall \Ap*pall"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Appalled; p. pr. & vb. n. Appalling.] [OF. appalir to grow pale, make pale; a (L. ad) + p[^a]lir to grow pale, to make pale, p[^a]le pale. See Pale, a., and cf. Pall.]

  1. To make pale; to blanch. [Obs.]

    The answer that ye made to me, my dear, . . . Hath so appalled my countenance.

  2. To weaken; to enfeeble; to reduce; as, an old appalled wight. [Obs.]

    Wine, of its own nature, will not congeal and freeze, only it will lose the strength, and become appalled in extremity of cold.

  3. To depress or discourage with fear; to impress with fear in such a manner that the mind shrinks, or loses its firmness; to overcome with sudden terror or horror; to dismay; as, the sight appalled the stoutest heart.

    The house of peers was somewhat appalled at this alarum.

    Syn: To dismay; terrify; daunt; frighten; affright; scare; depress. See Dismay.


Appall \Ap*pall"\, v. i.

  1. To grow faint; to become weak; to become dismayed or discouraged. [Obs.]

  2. To lose flavor or become stale. [Obs.]


Appall \Ap*pall"\, n. Terror; dismay. [Poet.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also appal, early 14c., "to fade;" c.1400, "to grow pale," from Old French apalir "become or make pale," from a- "to" (see ad-) + palir "grow pale," from Latin pallere (see pallor). Meaning "cause dismay or shock," is 1530s. Related: Appalled; appalling.


vb. 1 (context transitive English) To depress or discourage with fear; to impress with fear in such a manner that the mind shrinks, or loses its firmness; to inundate with sudden terror or horror; to dismay. 2 (context transitive obsolete English) To make pale; to blanch. 3 (context transitive obsolete English) To weaken; to enfeeble; to reduce. 4 (context intransitive obsolete English) To grow faint; to become weak; to become dismayed or discouraged. 5 (context intransitive obsolete English) To lose flavour or become stale.

  1. v. strike with disgust or revulsion; "The scandalous behavior of this married woman shocked her friends" [syn: shock, offend, scandalize, scandalise, appal, outrage]

  2. fill with apprehension or alarm; cause to be unpleasantly surprised; "I was horrified at the thought of being late for my interview"; "The news of the executions horrified us" [syn: dismay, alarm, appal, horrify]

Usage examples of "appall".

While a brilliant career of material improvement and commercial advancement was developed by our Indian empire, the event burst forth which deluged the Bengal provinces, and Central India, with blood, and appalled the world.

There, he was appalled to find that what he believed to be such a pretty amethyst, for which he would be willing to pay three or four hundred dollars, was an alexandrite priced at five thousand.

Appalled but fascinated by the bound feet of her amah and other Chinese women, she understood, even as a child, that this barbaric custom symbolized male supremacy.

Caepio Junior would have been appalled if she had moaned in ecstasy or thrown herself around in the bed as if she enjoyed herself in the manner of a mistress.

Little men with big names, appalled at the idea that their beloved Rome had been saved by a despised New Manan Italian hayseed with no Greek, as Metellus Numidicus Piggle-wiggle had put it many years before.

He had always liked and respected Roland, and was appalled by this ashen and haggard man sitting his horse before him.

Again Belial tried to interrupt, appalled at the inference that he had got Cazna pregnant, but Cazna overrode her father.

But then they flickered through her unstoppably, as if projected by a magic lantern, and they appalled her.

Now that they had it, the slowly dawning understanding that still, even so, even with that knowledge they might not make it home, appalled them.

The three cactacae are appalled at this velocity and control that border on thaumaturgy.

It was the emotion itself, the intense, giddying, slick, and sick-making ardor she had heard in their voices that appalled her.

The emotion still appalled and nauseated her, like something rotting in her stomach.

Mute and appalled, he moved aside for her, and she wheezed and entered the shadow.

Lovers mutter wetly to each other and grapple with an abandon that still appalled her.

Vita, suffering H withdrawal, refused to participate, and Orlene, appalled at what she had learned, had retreated to passivity again.