ter·​rif·​ic | \ tə-ˈri-fik \

Definition of terrific

1 : unusually fine : magnificent terrific weather
2 : extraordinary terrific speed
3a : exciting or fit to excite fear or awe a terrific thunderstorm
b : very bad : frightful

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Other Words from terrific

terrifically \ tə-​ˈri-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of terrific in a Sentence

She's given me some terrific ideas. Your test scores were terrific. They did a terrific job painting the house. I had a terrific time. I've recovered completely. In fact, I feel terrific. We were hit by a terrific snowstorm last week.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Which is not to say the function isn't there—the iPhone X and its successors, the XS, XS Max, and XR, are all terrific phones. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's in Trouble for the First Time in a Long Time, And You Already Know Why," 3 Jan. 2019 Smith's chemistry with costar Tommy Lee Jones was a sheer delight, rounded out by an equally terrific cast. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Thor Ragnarok stars reunite, kick alien butt in MiB International trailer," 20 Dec. 2018 James Somers’ story is full of terrific anecdotes about Google’s early days: When a car goes around a turn, more ground must be covered by the outside wheels; likewise, the outer edge of a spinning hard disk moves faster than the inner one. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Google’s appearance before Congress will mark a turning point for its CEO," 5 Dec. 2018 On the South Rim, expect the popular Desert View Drive to be refreshingly empty; or, take the free shuttle to Hermit's Rest and hike a superb trail that also offers terrific views. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "Best Places to Visit in November," 20 Sep. 2018 The first, and best, follows the beginning stages of their relationship, and Schoenaerts and Exarchopoulos have terrific chemistry. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "'Racer and the Jailbird' mixes romance, melodrama," 10 May 2018 Jordan Spieth led after Thursday with a six-under 66 but could only manage a 71, a round that saw him lose considerable ground on a day of terrific scoring. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Patrick Reed Maintains Lead at the Masters on Day of Low Scoring," 7 Apr. 2018 Provide a good foundation for your lipstick with Tom Ford Lip Sculptor, a terrific tool that provides distinctive color and definition. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What September's Capricorn Horoscope Means for You," 30 Aug. 2018 In addition to her six goals, Ahern contributed four assists. had a terrific day for Notre Dame-Hingham, finishing with six goals and four assists. Ryan Hathaway, BostonGlobe.com, "No. 2 Notre Dame girls’ lacrosse holds off No. 6 Norwell," 1 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrific.' 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 terrific

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

History and Etymology for terrific

Latin terrificus, from terrēre to frighten

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Statistics for terrific

Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrific

The first known use of terrific was in 1667

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More Definitions for terrific



English Language Learners Definition of terrific

: extremely good

: causing a feeling of surprise or wonder


ter·​rif·​ic | \ tə-ˈri-fik \

Kids Definition of terrific

1 : excellent That's a terrific idea.
2 : very unusual : extraordinary The car was going at terrific speed.
3 : causing terror : terrible The storm caused terrific damage.

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More from Merriam-Webster on terrific

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terrific

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for terrific

Spanish Central: Translation of terrific

Nglish: Translation of terrific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terrific for Arabic Speakers

Comments on terrific

What made you want to look up terrific? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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