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 The Rams have been terrific against the run, but rank 24th in dropback success rate, so the pass defense has shown some cracks. Adam Burke, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2022 Georgia has been terrific in its big games but a bit lackluster against overmatched opponents. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 6 Nov. 2022 Moore was terrific against the Vikings, catching seven of eight targets for 92 yards and a touchdown while tacking on another 12 rushing yards. Tony Holm, USA TODAY, 31 Oct. 2022 The point of the satire, so perfectly sharp in the initial confrontations — with White and Nakamura making a terrific comedy team — begins to dull as the emphasis shifts from verbal to physical humor. New York Times, 27 Apr. 2022 The offensive line has done a terrific job holding up its end of the bargain, and PFF data backs it up. Irie Harris, cleveland, 9 Nov. 2022 Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker missed a couple of deep throw attempts that could have been big, but, for the most part, Georgia did a terrific job of bottling him up all game in a way Alabama wasn’t capable of doing in Knoxville. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 6 Nov. 2022 Mufti does a terrific job of putting these stories in the context of the times, of events and tensions both national and international. Sophie Lewis, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 Louise Fletcher was a terrific actor with a long, varied, interesting filmography amassed over five decades. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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 2 Dec. 2022.

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

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