terrorize

verb
ter·​ror·​ize | \ ˈter-ər-ˌīz How to pronounce terrorize (audio) \
terrorized; terrorizing

Definition of terrorize

transitive verb

1 : to fill with terror or anxiety : scare
2 : to coerce by threat or violence

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Other Words from terrorize

terrorization \ ˌter-​ər-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce terrorization (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for terrorize

Synonyms

affright, alarm (also alarum), fright, frighten, horrify, panic, scare, scarify, shock, spook, startle, terrify

Antonyms

reassure

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Examples of terrorize in a Sentence

As a child she terrorized her younger siblings. She was terrorized by nightmares. Employees were terrorized into accepting abysmal working conditions.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Thirty Years Ago Members of a Paulette Place family were terrorized during a September 1989 crime when two masked robbers broke into their home, gagged and bound them, then made off with $18,000 in jewelry pieces. Carol Cormaci, La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada History: Hikers see devastation up close as Station fire moves on," 9 Sep. 2019 Three masked assailants terrorize a young couple in a romantic getaway to a remote cottage. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Bowles was condemned for the murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville Beach — one of the killings that terrorized the East Coast's Interstate 95 corridor in an eight-month span in 1994. orlandosentinel.com, "Florida executes serial killer Gary Ray Bowles, who targeted gay men," 22 Aug. 2019 Cross burnings have historically been used by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere. CBS News, "Man pleads guilty to federal hate crime of burning crosses in black neighborhood in Mississippi," 6 Aug. 2019 The thing that was different this time was that the students of Parkland became our leaders, the voice of this terrorizing situation in a way that was undeniable and continues to be undeniable. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Sheryl Crow on Explaining School Shootings to Her Children Ahead of March for Our Lives: 'It's Not OK for Our Kids to Not Feel Safe'," 22 Mar. 2018 When police were hunting two snipers terrorizing Washington, D.C. in 2002, school children were kept inside during recess. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Life Among the Bombs: Austin Tries to Stick to Routine," 20 Mar. 2018 The Knights started by terrorizing freshman righty Jack Leftwich on Tuesday in Orlando by tagging him for six earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. Ethan Bauer, miamiherald, "The Florida Gators coach wants his men’s team to get mad as it prepares for the Tourney | Miami Herald," 14 Mar. 2018 One product of his work is this timelapse put together for National Geographic which casts these terrorizing fires in a new, almost alluring light. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Witness the Terrible Beauty of California's Wildfires in Timelapse," 18 Mar. 2016

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

1823, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near terrorize

terrorism

terrorist

terroristic

terrorize

terrour

terry

Terry

Statistics for terrorize

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for terrorize

The first known use of terrorize was in 1823

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More Definitions for terrorize

terrorize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of terrorize

: to cause (someone) to be extremely afraid
: to force (someone) to do something by using threats or violence

terrorize

verb
ter·​ror·​ize | \ ˈter-ər-ˌīz How to pronounce terrorize (audio) \
terrorized; terrorizing

Kids Definition of terrorize

1 : to fill with fear
2 : to use terrorism against

terrorize

transitive verb
ter·​ror·​ize | \ ˈter-ər-ˌīz How to pronounce terrorize (audio) \
terrorized; terrorizing

Legal Definition of terrorize

: to inflict terror upon

Other Words from terrorize

terrorization \ ˌter-​ər-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce terrorization (audio) \ noun

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Comments on terrorize

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