terrible

adjective
ter·​ri·​ble | \ ˈter-ə-bəl How to pronounce terrible (audio) , ˈte-rə-\

Definition of terrible

1 : extremely bad: such as
a : notably unattractive or objectionable terrible behavior
b : of very poor quality a terrible movie
c : strongly repulsive : obnoxious a terrible smell
2a : difficult in a terrible bind
b : formidable in nature : awesome a terrible responsibility
c : exciting extreme alarm or intense fear : terrifying
3 : extreme, great a terrible disappointment

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Other Words from terrible

terribleness noun
terribly \ ˈter-​ə-​blē How to pronounce terribly (audio) , ˈte-​rə-​ \ adverb

Examples of terrible in a Sentence

Traffic was held up by a terrible accident. I have a terrible cold. The service at that restaurant is terrible.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Poseidon is meant to be a chilling second-strike terror weapon, making a nuclear attack on Russia too terrible to contemplate. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Releases Test Video of Poseidon Nuclear Attack Drone," 22 Feb. 2019 While Cooper himself is not usually a terrible actor, this film plays to the lowest common denominator, hitting every chef cliché like clockwork. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "In honor of the Oscars, we asked Seattle chefs to name their picks for all-time Best Food Film," 20 Feb. 2019 In the end, everyone rightfully agreed that Yann's comments were, in a word, terrible, and that no woman ever should worry about haters like him. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Stars Whoopi Goldberg and Meghan McCain Lost It on Wednesday's Show," 10 Jan. 2019 And no matter what kind of technology brands like North Face or Marmot advertise, most bulky, ski-type gloves are terrible for texting. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "We Tried 50 Texting Gloves. Here are the Best Pairs," 12 Feb. 2019 Her predilection for terrible ideas only flowed from this original sin. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Season Two Wants You to Forget About Season One," 18 Jan. 2019 In hindsight, this was probably a terrible idea, but what first-apartment decoration really ever is? Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "I Can't Stop Buying Plants Even Though They Always Die," 9 Jan. 2019 His boss, a former Special Forces soldier, had talked up the experience, but another friend who had served in Vietnam called it a terrible idea. Dave Philipps, The Seattle Times, "The Army, in need of recruits, turns focus to Seattle, other liberal-leaning cities," 2 Jan. 2019 Starbreeze took in money from investors with a rights issue and bought Overkill with shares, but, according to people familiar with the deal, Starbreeze was in such a terrible financial position that these shares were essentially worthless. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: The sordid tale of Starbreeze's stumbles, Overwatch players learn piano (with guns)," 1 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrible.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of terrible

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2c

History and Etymology for terrible

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin terribilis, from terrēre to frighten — more at terror

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Statistics for terrible

Last Updated

27 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrible

The first known use of terrible was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for terrible

terrible

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of terrible

: very shocking and upsetting
: very bad or unpleasant

terrible

adjective
ter·​ri·​ble | \ ˈter-ə-bəl How to pronounce terrible (audio) \

Kids Definition of terrible

1 : very great in degree a terrible fright a terrible mess
2 : very bad I got a terrible grade on the test.
3 : causing great fear a terrible monster

Other Words from terrible

terribly \ -​blē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on terrible

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terrible

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for terrible

Spanish Central: Translation of terrible

Nglish: Translation of terrible for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terrible for Arabic Speakers

Comments on terrible

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not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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