terrorize

verb
ter·​ror·​ize | \ˈter-ər-ˌīz \
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 \ 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

These layers of privilege prevent people from the truth: Patrick Bateman is a serial killer, who lures, terrorizes, and butchers his victims. Ashley Nkadi, Teen Vogue, "15 Scary Movies Directed by Women Perfect for Halloween," 30 Oct. 2018 What's more empowering than seeing a woman take down a deranged, male serial killer terrorizing camp counselors? Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "There's No Lack of Female Directors. There’s Only a Lack of Opportunities.," 26 Oct. 2018 Flash forward to season 2, when the Black Hood is terrorizing Riverdale, apparently targeting sinners. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About The Farm, The Cult Taking Over "Riverdale" Season 3," 13 Sep. 2018 One of those persons was reportedly pistol-whipped, terrorized and robbed. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "Potential Legal Ramifications of the Disturbing Accusations Against LeSean McCoy," 11 July 2018 Three robbers wearing masks terrorized a married couple at their home, tying their hands and robbing them at gunpoint, police say. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Masked robbers terrorize couple in home-invasion robbery," 11 July 2018 This is the heart of trolling, especially when it’s built around the intent to terrorize. Film Crit Hulk, The Verge, "Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies," 12 July 2018 Male, 46, arrested on suspicion of threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize, 1200 block H Street. Ramona Sentinel, "Sheriff's Reports: June 18-24," 27 June 2018 The five-time All-Star demolished foes with his versatile offensive game while also terrorizing them on the defensive end with his unique combination of length and athleticism. William Guillory, NOLA.com, "Pelicans' playoff success leads to added recognition, but what happens next could be telling," 26 May 2018

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

13 Nov 2018

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 \
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 \
terrorized; terrorizing

Legal Definition of terrorize 

: to inflict terror upon

Other Words from terrorize

terrorization \ ˌter-​ər-​ə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

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Comments on terrorize

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