ter·​ri·​fy·​ing | \ ˈter-ə-ˌfī-iŋ How to pronounce terrifying (audio) , ˈte-rə-\

Definition of terrifying

1 : causing terror or apprehension
2 : of a formidable nature

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Other Words from terrifying

terrifyingly adverb

Examples of terrifying in a Sentence

The thought of dying alone was terrifying. heard a terrifying noise coming from the next room

Recent Examples on the Web

Dangling hundreds of feet in the air attached to a harness and with an experienced belayer (the person at the bottom controlling the rope) at the other end was terrifying enough for me. Amy Marturana, SELF, "'Free Solo' Star Alex Honnold Explains How He Got Into the Terrifying Sport of Free Solo Climbing," 26 Feb. 2019 The masked animal did so by scaling a St. Paul, Minnesota, skyscraper, a la Spider-Man, and in the process riveting - and terrifying - legions of humans who followed online. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "A raccoon is scaling the side of a tall skyscraper, and it's incredibly stressful," 12 June 2018 While accidents of that nature are typically easy to recover from or fix at the moment, there are some that are downright terrifying. Shammara Lawrence, Allure, "A Viral Video of Woman's Hair Falling Out Has the Internet Shook," 6 June 2018 When a woman is young, the experience can be slightly terrifying. Robin Abcarian, latimes.com, "Who is protecting our young women from those who masquerade as caring physicians?," 17 May 2018 The potential for abuse in turning law enforcement into a weapon of the party that controls government is so terrifying that any democracy has to limit it. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Giuliani’s FBI ‘Stormtroopers’ Smear Is the Key to Trump’s Authoritarian Mind-set," 3 May 2018 If the entire month of the April underscored how terrifying the potential of the Sixers can be, the first two weeks of May were a reminder that Embiid and Simmons need help to make that future a reality. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Sixers and a Summer Full of Questions," 10 May 2018 The moment is quietly terrifying; its menace comes from what isn’t shown or said, but what’s left to viewers to imagine. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Handmaid's Tale and the Suffering of Women," 25 Apr. 2018 For parents, Easter comes with an inordinate and terrifying amount of chocolate. Ida Lieszkovszky, cleveland.com, "Easing up in the fight against chocolate: Multitasking Moms and Dads," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrifying.' 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 terrifying

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for terrifying

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrifying

The first known use of terrifying was circa 1586

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More Definitions for terrifying



English Language Learners Definition of terrifying

: causing great fear

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