terrible

adjective ter·ri·ble \ ˈter-ə-bəl , 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
2 a :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

terribleness

noun

terribly

play \-blē\ adverb

Examples of terrible in a Sentence

  1. Traffic was held up by a terrible accident.

  2. I have a terrible cold.

  3. The service at that restaurant is terrible.

Recent Examples of terrible from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of terrible

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


TERRIBLE Defined for English Language Learners

terrible

adjective

Definition of terrible for English Language Learners

  • : very shocking and upsetting

  • : very bad or unpleasant


TERRIBLE Defined for Kids

terrible

adjective ter·ri·ble \ ˈter-ə-bəl \

Definition of terrible for Students

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

terribly

\-blē\ adverb


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