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

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 For now, cellular support for the Poco X2 is terrible, just like the initial release of the Poco F1, ensuring this phone has a tough life outside of India. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "The Poco X2 smartphone packs a 120Hz display, six cameras for $225," 4 Feb. 2020 Without him, football is probably still boring, and the 49ers are probably still terrible. Robert Morast, San Francisco Chronicle, "Hater’s guide to loving the San Francisco 49ers," 29 Jan. 2020 Both teams are good to great offensively, and bad to terrible defensively, leaning me toward Over 228.5 (-129). Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets odds, picks and best bets," 11 Jan. 2020 Over any given year, a great strategy can produce subpar results while a terrible one can produce phenomenal results. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "10 Things Investors Can Bank on in the New Year," 27 Dec. 2019 Sure, anything can happen on any given Sunday, but this squad is a special brand of terrible. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "'New York Daily News' column insisted Bengals game would be 'cakewalk' for Jets," 2 Dec. 2019 Hamlin, who had been terrible on restarts the entire race, punched his steering wheel in anger when the yellow flag waved. Jenna Fryer, orlandosentinel.com, "Denny Hamlin races way into championship field with Phoenix victory," 10 Nov. 2019 Now, for the 2020 recreation, posted on TikTok and Instagram: Joe, Nick, and Kevin Jonas acquired terrible wigs, and performed an early scene from the movie. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "The Jonas Brothers Just Recreated a Scene from 'Camp Rock' and Might Have Broken the Internet," 22 Jan. 2020 Casely-Hayford says this exhibition gives people a chance to get close to histories that have been obscured for all sorts of terrible reasons. Allison Keyes, Smithsonian Magazine, "How the Heroes of Africa Triumphed Against All Odds," 13 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for terrible

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for terrible

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Terrible.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrible. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for terrible


How to pronounce terrible (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of terrible

: very shocking and upsetting
: very bad or unpleasant


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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Comments on terrible

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