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 Those figures, based on an early estimate by British government scientists in late December, made for terrifying push alerts and headlines. James Hamblin, The Atlantic, "The Evolution of the Coronavirus," 15 Jan. 2021 Two weeks later, heavily armed militia members entered the state capitol, terrifying lawmakers. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "Among the Insurrectionists," 15 Jan. 2021 Months earlier, as the world was coming to grips with the terrifying spread of COVID-19, the cross-country World Cup season — like so many sports globally — was put on hold. Hayden Bird, BostonGlobe.com, "Southie’s Jessie Diggins has climbed to the pinnacle of the cross-country skiing world," 14 Jan. 2021 Pelosi said her demands for Trump’s removal are informed by her own terrifying experience during the riots. Jaclyn Peiser, Anchorage Daily News, "Pelosi says staff hid under a table for hours as rioters vandalized her office: ‘A terrible, terrible violation’," 11 Jan. 2021 But as the first full week of 2021 proved, terrifying news simply does not abide by the Gregorian calendar. Gabrielle Birkner, Glamour, "New Year, Same Grief," 11 Jan. 2021 Candace Hilligoss plays a woman who starts having terrifying visions after surviving a car accident. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, "The 30 Best Horror Movies on HBO Max," 8 Jan. 2021 The creak of footsteps on the stairs, the smell of something foul, and the feel of something crawling down your back are just some terrifying features in the new edition of the award-winning game Betrayal at House on the Hill. Popular Science, "The best spooky board games for late night gaming," 8 Jan. 2021 Yes, hitting the send button can feel terrifying, but what’s the worst that can happen? Amanda Nachman, NBC News, "5 tips to land your dream job in 2021," 3 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for terrifying

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrifying was circa 1586

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Statistics for terrifying

Last Updated

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrifying.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrifying. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for terrifying


How to pronounce terrifying (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of terrifying

: causing great fear

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Comments on terrifying

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