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

The trailer for Us shows Nyong’o as the mother in a family terrorized by another family that looks identical to them. Veronica Chambers, Marie Claire, "Lupita in the Lead," 5 Feb. 2019 In other words, most of the country is now ruled by transnational criminal networks that terrorize the population. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "The Drug War and the Caravan," 11 Nov. 2018 The attacks Before there was Jaws, a fictional account of a killer shark that terrorized a sleepy beach town, there was reality at the Jersey Shore. Tommy Rowan, Philly.com, "Irrational shark fear you can't escape at the Jersey Shore," 5 July 2018 There is nothing supernatural, nothing especially out of the ordinary, about the force that terrorizes Miriam Besson (Léa Drucker) and her children. Xavier Legrand, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Custody,’ a Father Terrorizes His Family," 27 June 2018 The suspect in a spate of bombings that terrorized residents of Austin, Texas, died early Wednesday after detonating an explosive inside his vehicle as a SWAT team tried to apprehend him on the side of a highway, officials said. Alexander Smith, NBC News, "Austin bomb suspect blows himself up as SWAT team approaches," 21 Mar. 2018 After a string of five bombings that have terrorized the Austin, Texas, area in March, authorities are working with a task force of more than 300 agents to try to apprehend whoever is responsible. Elaine Aradillas, PEOPLE.com, "Terror in Austin: Ex-FBI Profiler Who Helped Catch Unabomber Says First Bomb 'Sent a Message'," 20 Mar. 2018 Tuesday’s explosion put the 51,000 residents of Aliso Viejo on edge especially in the wake of the deadly serial bomber who terrorized Austin, Texas earlier this year. Zusha Elinson, WSJ, "Deadly California Blast Caused by Explosive Device," 16 May 2018 The fatal explosion occurred around the same time that a weeks-long string of exploding packages terrorized Austin. Marwa Eltagouri, chicagotribune.com, "Wisconsin man who blew himself up might have been white supremacist making ISIS-style bombs," 14 Apr. 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

20 Feb 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 \
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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