terror

noun
ter·​ror | \ ˈter-ər How to pronounce terror (audio) , ˈte-rər\

Definition of terror

1 : a state of intense fear
2a : one that inspires fear : scourge
b : a frightening aspect
c : a cause of anxiety : worry
d : an appalling person or thing especially : brat
4 : violent or destructive acts (such as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands

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Other Words from terror

terrorless \ ˈter-​ər-​ləs How to pronounce terrorless (audio) , ˈte-​rər-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for terror

Synonyms

affliction, demon (or daemon), hang-up, torment

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Choose the Right Synonym for terror

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety. faced the meeting with dread fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear. fright at being awakened suddenly alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger. view the situation with alarm panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity. the news caused widespread panic terror implies the most extreme degree of fear. immobilized with terror trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation. raised the subject with trepidation

Examples of terror in a Sentence

The sound of guns being fired fills me with terror. Many civilians fled in terror. a terror that is still fresh in her memory the terrors of life in the jungle a regime that rules by terror bombings and other acts of terror These people have been living with terror and the threat of terror for many years. a campaign of terror against ethnic minority groups
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Recent Examples on the Web

The terror attack in Christchurch on Friday was the worst act of terrorism on our shores. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "New Zealand Lawmakers Are Changing Gun Laws in Response to the Christchurch Mosque Attacks," 18 Mar. 2019 Poseidon is meant to be a chilling second-strike terror weapon, making a nuclear attack on Russia too terrible to contemplate. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Releases Test Video of Poseidon Nuclear Attack Drone," 22 Feb. 2019 Modi also called for strong action for combating extremism so that the powers spreading violence and terror cannot mislead young people. Ashok Sharma, The Seattle Times, "Saudi crown prince backs India’s fight against terrorism," 20 Feb. 2019 All that remains is to discover the reasons, the rationalizations, the engraved moments of fury and terror and passion that brought us from there to here. Laura Hudson, The Verge, "Why Return of the Obra Dinn is my game of the year," 21 Dec. 2018 This creates an interesting vibe for this type of game, heightening the lingering tension and terror of the omnidirectional free-for-all. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review: War games, now with battle royale!," 19 Oct. 2018 Gioria, making his feature film debut, is exceptional as Julien, conveying terror and helplessness in the most convincing way from start to finish. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Review: Searing French drama 'Custody' is an unforgettable experience," 10 July 2018 To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Said Ahmed-zaid, idahostatesman, "We should treat refugees with humanity and decency, as we are all the human race," 5 July 2018 And here Gilead has repurposed it for terror and tragedy. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Handmaid's Tale' Just Set the Stage for "Powerful" Season 2 Finale," 4 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for terror

Middle English, from Anglo-French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrēre to frighten; akin to Greek trein to be afraid, flee, tremein to tremble — more at tremble

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Statistics for terror

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terror

The first known use of terror was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for terror

terror

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terror

: a very strong feeling of fear
: something that causes very strong feelings of fear : something that is terrifying
: violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal

terror

noun
ter·​ror | \ ˈter-ər How to pronounce terror (audio) \

Kids Definition of terror

1 : a state of great fear They fled in terror.
2 : a cause of great fear All these, however, were mere terrors of the night …— Washington Irving, “Sleepy Hollow”

terror

noun
ter·​ror

Legal Definition of terror

: an intense fear of physical injury or death inflict terror by forced entry or unlawful assembly also : the infliction of such fear an act of terror

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More from Merriam-Webster on terror

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with terror

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for terror

Spanish Central: Translation of terror

Nglish: Translation of terror for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of terror for Arabic Speakers

Comments on terror

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