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 terrific (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 An American in Paris has the exact same problem that lots of musicals possess: Sure, the song-and-dance numbers are terrific, but the story stuff in between isn’t nearly as radiant. Tim Grierson, Vulture, "Every Oscar Best Picture Winner, Ranked," 26 Apr. 2021 Carmela Cardama Baez won a terrific back-and-forth battle with Claire O’Brien of Boise State over the last three laps to claim the victory. oregonlive, "Cole Hocker crushes meet record in the 5,000 at Oregon Relays," 23 Apr. 2021 Wyatt Russell has been terrific as this avatar of male insecurity run wildly amok, but the script isn’t always doing him favors. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Recap: American Skin," 16 Apr. 2021 Alas, allegedly only 36% of those who started it finished it, which is a shame since the third act is terrific. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, "‘Falcon And The Winter Solder’ Had A Much Bigger Debut Than ‘WandaVision’," 15 Apr. 2021 Some early names tried to indicate that the team was terrific. Washington Post, "As the Cleveland Indians search for a new name, history offers several oddballs," 14 Apr. 2021 That’s mostly because the pitching, particularly the starters and McGee, have been terrific, but the one starter who has been a little more wobbly than the rest is Logan Webb, who was on the mound Saturday. Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle, "Brandon Crawford leads the way again - this time with a homer - as Giants beat Rockies," 10 Apr. 2021 Bill, thank you very much for joining us, this has been terrific. CBS News, "Former envoy to global coalition against ISIS weighs in on future of Syrian conflict," 31 Mar. 2021 Given a capacity of 1,400 people a day, Yale New Haven Health did a terrific job pulling this off. John Lamattina, Forbes, "Surprising Cost For Covid-19 Vaccine Administration," 15 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for terrific

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrific was in 1667

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Statistics for terrific

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrific.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrific. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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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Comments on terrific

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