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

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Other Words from terrific

terrifically \ tə-​ˈri-​fi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce terrifically (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

Woodland was terrific Sunday under the kind of pressure a U.S. Open final round always brings. Tim Dahlberg, sun-sentinel.com, "Column: You got this! Amy and the US Open champion," 17 June 2019 Nurse has been terrific all postseason, making the right decisions and adjustments. Dan Woike, latimes.com, "Warriors-Raptors Game 5: Five things we might have overlooked," 11 June 2019 For an instant, which seemed an age, the pressure was terrific. Robert E. (robert Edwin) Peary, Harper's magazine, "Unyielding Ice," 10 June 2019 This is not to suggest that Embiid and Simmons aren’t terrific players and won’t yet become truly great players. Mike Sielski, Philly.com, "LeBron James to the Sixers? Two big factors make it unlikely | Mike Sielski," 29 June 2018 Losers: Perhaps Simons will become a terrific player. Tim Bontemps, chicagotribune.com, "NBA draft's winners and losers: Mavericks, Adrian Wojnarowski, Michael Porter Jr. and more," 22 June 2018 There are always exceptions – see: Mathis, Robert – and Simon is a terrific football player, undoubtedly one of the Colts’ best on that side of the ball. Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star, "Colts observations: More throws from Andrew Luck, does John Simon have a home?," 13 June 2018 Among other strengths, the miniseries boasts terrific performances from a truly stellar cast. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Amazon’s Good Omens is every bit as entertaining as the original novel," 1 June 2019 And while the offense can be tailored to suit each player's skill level, the system remains the same: Michigan needs an accurate passer who can take care of the football and help its terrific defense by finishing drives with kicks. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh: Michigan football's quarterback battle still wide open," 28 Apr. 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

21 Jun 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

informal : extremely good
: 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.

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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).


showing courage and determination

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