If something is unattractive, the word "ugly" is a good choice to describe it. This is a short word and the meaning is very clear. The word "ugly," however, is not a nice word to use for a person. It’s the opposite of "pretty" or "beautiful."

  • Joan and Pat bought an ugly house and fixed it up. Now the house looks great.
  • Mary thought she was ugly as a child, but now she’s quite beautiful.
  • No one wants to buy that car because the color is so ugly.
  • That new building on the corner is so ugly.
  • Strip mining leaves an ugly scar on the land.

strip mine

a strip mine

The word "ugly" is also used when describing situations:

  • Bill and Hoda are going through an ugly divorce.
  • An ugly rumor involving President Obama’s past is circulating on the internet.
  • We saw an ugly confrontation on the highway the other day between two drivers.

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This page was first published on August 25, 2012. It was updated on July 21, 2015.