ter·​rif·​ic tə-ˈri-fik How to pronounce terrific (audio)
: unusually fine : magnificent
terrific weather
: extraordinary
terrific speed
: exciting or fit to excite fear or awe
a terrific thunderstorm
: very bad : frightful
terrifically adverb

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Ingle’s steak tartare, topped with mustard seeds and batons of Asian pear, is terrific. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 France was terrific in his major-league debut against Seattle on Saturday, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out five. James Mueller, Chron, 8 May 2023 What a terrific revelation and opportunity to share the findings with the siblings in a noninflammatory light. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 5 May 2023 Games to watch Monday, No. 8 Acton-Boxborough at No. 9 Lexington, 5:30 p.m. — Two conference leaders and terrific programs clash for the first time this season. Ethan Fuller, BostonGlobe.com, 29 Apr. 2023 Although not exactly turbo-muscular, the new engine makes plenty of usable horsepower and some pretty terrific sounds in the process. William Jeanes, Car and Driver, 28 Apr. 2023 The oversupply has been terrific for cannabis consumers. Gene Johnson, Andrew Selsky, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2023 The play puts a lot of heavy demands on a very young actress and Jones was just terrific (Aliyana Nicole appears at some performances), but then so is Sydney Charles, who is deeply moving as Rachel, the woman who thought her life was set only for her childhood to come calling upon her. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, 19 Apr. 2023 All these elements are terrific signs for the future. Morten Stig Jensen, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'terrific.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin terrificus, from terrēre to frighten

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 3b

Time Traveler
The first known use of terrific was in 1667

Dictionary Entries Near terrific

Cite this Entry

“Terrific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrific. Accessed 29 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


ter·​rif·​ic tə-ˈrif-ik How to pronounce terrific (audio)
: causing terror : terrible
terrific destruction
: very great in degree : extraordinary
a car going at terrific speed
: unusually good
makes terrific chili
terrifically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on terrific

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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