reign of terror

noun phrase

: a state or a period of time marked by violence often committed by those in power that produces widespread terror

Examples of reign of terror in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His reign of terror brought the city to its knees, compelling many young women with similar appearances to the victims to dye their hair and get pixie cuts. Samira Asma-Sadeque, Peoplemag, 22 June 2024 During their reign of terror, the brothers stalked at least six young couples and one 12-year-old girl. Kc Baker, Peoplemag, 8 June 2024 His reign of terror continued for months after that. John Annese, New York Daily News, 3 Jan. 2024 An 81-year-old man accused of a 10-year reign of terror in a Southern California neighborhood has been arrested, police reported. Don Sweeney, Sacramento Bee, 26 May 2024 Myanmar has returned to a military reign of terror and the fractured reality of civil war. Hannah Beech, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2024 Fring’s illicit power and reign of terror established a spectrum of villainy to measure against Walter White and Saul Goodman’s moral ambiguity. Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2024 Elizabeth Banks’ fashionable escort Effie and Lenny Kravitz’s stylist Cinna are nowhere to be found, but there are still memorable style moments in The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, centered on a teenage Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) before his Panem reign of terror., 18 Nov. 2023 Actor Donald Pleasence, who plays the psychiatrist intent on stopping Michael's reign of terror in five installments of the franchise, was paid the additional $20,000 for his five days of work on the project, but the veteran actor gave the low-budget affair a real sense of gravitas. 17 of 20 4. Steven Thrash,, 19 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reign of terror.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Reign of Terror, a period of the French Revolution that was conspicuous for mass executions of political suspects

First Known Use

1784, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of reign of terror was in 1784

Dictionary Entries Near reign of terror

Cite this Entry

“Reign of terror.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

reign of terror

: a period marked by violence that is often carried out by those in power and produces terror among the people involved

More from Merriam-Webster on reign of terror

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!