adjective ter·rif·ic \ tə-ˈri-fik \
Updated on: 3 Dec 2017

Definition of terrific

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


play \-fi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of terrific in a Sentence

  1. She's given me some terrific ideas.

  2. Your test scores were terrific.

  3. They did a terrific job painting the house.

  4. I had a terrific time.

  5. I've recovered completely. In fact, I feel terrific.

  6. We were hit by a terrific snowstorm last week.

Recent Examples of terrific from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of terrific

Latin terrificus, from terrēre to frighten

terrific Synonyms

A-OK, A1, awesome, bang-up, banner, beautiful, blue-chip, blue-ribbon, boffo, bonny (also bonnie) [chiefly British], boss [slang], brag, brave, bully, bumper, capital, choice, classic, cool [slang], corking, crackerjack, cracking, dandy, divine, dope [slang], down [slang], dynamite, fab, fabulous, famous, fantabulous [slang], fantastic, fine, first-class, first-rate, first-string, five-star, four-star, frontline, gangbusters (also gangbuster), gilt-edged (or gilt-edge), gone [slang], grand, great, groovy, heavenly, high-class, hot, hype [slang], immense, jim-dandy, keen, lovely, marvelous (or marvellous), mean, neat, nifty, noble, number one (also No. 1), numero uno, out-of-sight [slang], par excellence, peachy, peachy keen, phat [slang], prime, primo [slang], prize, prizewinning, quality, radical [slang], righteous [slang], sensational, slick, splendid, stellar, sterling, superb, superior, superlative, supernal, swell, excellent, tip-top, top, top-flight, top-notch, top-of-the-line, topping [chiefly British], top-shelf, unsurpassed, wizard [chiefly British], wonderful
atrocious, awful, execrable, lousy, pathetic, poor, rotten, terrible, vile, wretched
Related Words
acceptable, adequate, all right, decent, good, OK (or okay), passable, satisfactory, tolerable; better, exceptional, fancy, high-grade, high-test, premium, select, special, superfine; classical, standard, traditional
Near Antonyms
bad, inferior, low-grade, substandard, unsatisfactory; mediocre, middling, second-class, second-rate

TERRIFIC Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of terrific for English Language Learners

  • : extremely good

  • : causing a feeling of surprise or wonder

TERRIFIC Defined for Kids


adjective ter·rif·ic \ tə-ˈri-fik \

Definition of terrific for Students

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.

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


a man who seduces many women

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!