ter·​rif·​ic | \ tə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce terrific (audio) \

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

Other Words from terrific

terrifically \ tə-​ˈri-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce terrific (audio) \ 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 Other than that, however, the episode was terrific. Erik Kain, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 Instead, both have been terrific and have meshed wonderfully in Utah. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Dec. 2021 The New Drury Lane production, directed by Matt Crowle, is a romantic comedy about two guys vying for the affections of the same young woman, and the cast in Oakbrook Terrace is terrific. Doug George, chicagotribune.com, 22 Dec. 2021 The show itself is terrific—fizzing with charm, confident in its cruelty, modern in its take on camp. Giles Hattersley, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2021 The proximity to downtown San Diego (and The New Children’s Museum!) is also terrific. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Dec. 2021 John Hodgkinson is terrific, doubling as calm TV anchor Howard K. Smith and Chicago’s incandescent, bully-boy Mayor Daley. David Benedict, Variety, 10 Dec. 2021 His hands are great, and his hockey sense is terrific. Andrew Mahoney, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Dec. 2021 Having a robot vacuum clean up after you and your family is terrific, but your hard flooring still needs to be mopped. Maren Estrada, BGR, 25 Nov. 2021

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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Time Traveler for terrific

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrific was in 1667

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Statistics for terrific

Last Updated

6 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Terrific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrific. Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for terrific



English Language Learners Definition of terrific

: extremely good : excellent
: causing a feeling of surprise or wonder


ter·​rif·​ic | \ tə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce terrific (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on terrific

Nglish: Translation of terrific for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terrific for Arabic Speakers


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