ter·​ri·​fy·​ing ˈter-ə-ˌfī-iŋ How to pronounce terrifying (audio)
: causing terror or apprehension
: of a formidable nature
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 The games have a retro-futuristic 1950s aesthetic that combines terrifying nuclear apocalypse with a rather upbeat post-WWII era propaganda, similar to the retrofuturism in Loki. Erik Kain, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 The story was so daunting, and to play this character was really terrifying. Daniel Vaillancourt, Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2023 That was a brief, albeit terrifying, breach on Friday. Justine Calma, The Verge, 20 Nov. 2023 Bill, meanwhile, likes to talk about how serial killers themselves are boring, and what matters is the terrifying culture that produces them. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 Dyer’s aesthetic involves cartoon-style drawings, outlined with heavy black markers, sometimes worn as masks, sometimes deployed in a terrifying puppet show. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 9 Nov. 2023 Four suspects are wanted in Philadelphia after tying up a family inside their home during a terrifying armed robbery caught on video last week, authorities said. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, 14 Nov. 2023 Universal and Blumhouse’s terrifying video game adaptation has been a bright spot this time of year, generating a scary-good $127 million in North America and $215 million worldwide to date. Rebecca Rubin, Variety, 12 Nov. 2023 Sure, streamers like Netflix, but Amazon Prime also has an extensive library of creepy, quirky, and downright terrifying movies. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'terrifying.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of terrifying was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near terrifying

Cite this Entry

“Terrifying.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrifying. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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