1. a very large amount of, perhaps too much of
an awful lot of money/convincing/mosquitoes
The phrase 'an awful lot of something' means a large amount of something, usually an excessive amount. This phrase has a negative connotation and is usually used to complain about the amount or quantity of something. "There was an awful lot of noise last night. I found it difficult to sleep." "An awful lot of microplastics end up in our drinking water." It can sometimes be used in positive situations. "I have an awful lot to learn from you." "You know an awful lot about astrology." Similar in meaning to: a gross amount, a huge amount, a terrible amount. This is more of a casual expression but it can be used in professional conversations also.