noun ter·ror \ˈter-ər, ˈte-rər\

: a very strong feeling of fear

: something that causes very strong feelings of fear : something that is terrifying

: violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal

Full Definition of TERROR

:  a state of intense fear
a :  one that inspires fear :  scourge
b :  a frightening aspect
c :  a cause of anxiety :  worry
d :  an appalling person or thing; especially :  brat
:  violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands
ter·ror·less \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of TERROR

  1. The sound of guns being fired fills me with terror.
  2. Many civilians fled in terror.
  3. a terror that is still fresh in her memory
  4. the terrors of life in the jungle
  5. a regime that rules by terror
  6. bombings and other acts of terror
  7. These people have been living with terror and the threat of terror for many years.
  8. a campaign of terror against ethnic minority groups

Origin of TERROR

Middle English, from Anglo-French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrēre to frighten; akin to Greek trein to be afraid, flee, tremein to tremble — more at tremble
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with TERROR


Next Word in the Dictionary: terrorfulPrevious Word in the Dictionary: terronAll Words Near: terror
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears