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

Evans is a terrific complement to Higdon in many ways and has the ability to make moves in space. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's 2018 projected depth chart: Who'll start at QB?," 6 May 2018 Aldridge is a senior, but Grady will be back and Luke Frampton, who missed the season with an ACL tear, could be a terrific complement to Grady’s talent. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Davidson brought SEC-quality players. Here’s how Kentucky knew how to contain them. | Charlotte Observer," 16 Mar. 2018 Oh is terrific as the title character, creating a complex woman who’s caustic, witty, intense and imperfect. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 His teammates tend to set screens around him, and Green is terrific at finding cutters zooming to the basket for layups. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "This Sophisticated Admirer of the Warriors Says, ‘More Draymond, Please’," 27 May 2018 Eric Gordon has been terrific off the Rockets’ bench, offering 24 points and tough defense Thursday night. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, "Flawed Warriors will find solace at Oracle," 25 May 2018 And then Syracuse on Sunday night in the [Carrier] Dome against a central New York rival in Cornell, those two programs have been playing each other forever, and that will be terrific for the fans up there. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Q&A with ESPN men’s lacrosse analyst Quint Kessenich," 7 May 2018 While PG John Wall has been mostly terrific all series, averaging 26.6 points, 12.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds, his minutes (38.8) might be catching up to him. Tim Reynolds, Houston Chronicle, "Game 6s on tap: LeBron James, Raptors, Jazz look to advance," 26 Apr. 2018 Some terrific uses for baking soda: Run out of toothpaste? Heloise, Houston Chronicle, "Don’t have a blast on the Fourth," 1 July 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

8 Nov 2018

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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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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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