ter·ri·fy·ing | \ˈter-ə-ˌfī-iŋ, 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

One pilot is being hailed as a hero after guiding his crew and passengers to safety in a terrifying incident. Megan Stein, PEOPLE.com, "Pilot Makes Emergency Landing After Crew Member Gets 'Sucked Halfway Out of the Window' Mid Flight," 15 May 2018 For the couple, the experience turned into a terrifying incident. Farai Mutsaka, chicagotribune.com, "Zimbabwe couple weds after crocodile bites off bride's arm," 7 May 2018 The terrifying incident has filled our feeds for the last 24 hours and prompted more than few questions about the safety of air travel. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 Things the Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Emergency Tells Us about Aviation Today," 18 Apr. 2018 Sadly, another family has recently experienced a terrifying child care incident; this time in Chicago. Anna Zambelli, Good Housekeeping, "Parents Are Outraged After Their Baby Was Left Alone in Locked Day Care Center," 22 Oct. 2015 Along with the roar of a grizzly bear and a crack of lightning, the sound of a tornado is among the most terrifying natural sounds on Earth. Matt Simon, WIRED, "A Tornado's Secret Sounds Could Reveal Where It'll Strike," 8 May 2018 In an ongoing investigation, the Journal Sentinel has uncovered a barrage of terrifying experiences vacationers have had while staying in all-inclusive luxury resorts and visiting nearby tourist areas. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Travel agents and popular sites didn’t share the risks with those booking travel to Mexico resorts," 11 Apr. 2018 Oil diffusers can be found in almost every home and are seemingly harmless, but 24-year-old Emily Smith is speaking out about her terrifying experience with hers in hopes of warning others to be more careful when using them. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "Woman Claims Her Face Was Severely Burned in Essential Oil Diffuser Accident," 17 Nov. 2017 My most terrifying road trip was on my honeymoon in 2007. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "The Great American Road Trip Goes Luxe—For Better or Worse," 12 July 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

13 Oct 2018

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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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Comments on terrifying

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