From Middle English hidous, from Anglo-Norman hidous, from Old French hideus, hydus, from earlier hisdos, from Old French hisda ("horror, fear"), of uncertain and disputed origin. Probably from Proto-West Germanic *agisiþu ("horror, terror"), from Proto-West Germanic *agisōn ("to frighten, terrorise"), from Proto-Germanic *agaz ("terror, fear"), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂egʰ- ("to frighten"). Cognate with Old High German egisa, egidī, Old English egesa ("fear, dread"), Gothic 𐌰𐌲𐌹𐍃 ("fear, terror").
Alternative etymology cites possible derivation from Latin hispidosus ("rugged"), from hispidus, yet the semantic evolution is less plausible.
Modern English dictionary
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