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 terrorize (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for terrorize

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 As if, in the same time period, white mobs did not terrorize Rosewood, Florida; and Elaine, Arkansas; and East St. Louis, Illinois. Victor Luckerson, The New Yorker, "Living in the Age of the White Mob," 15 Jan. 2021 Bonds likened their tactics to those used by the Ku Klux Klan to terrorize African Americans. Washington Post, "‘A dark, empty place:’ Public officials face personal threats as tensions flare," 13 Dec. 2020 These include unbridled police brutality, the lack of affordable housing, unfinanced community resource programs, exorbitant health care costs and immigration enforcement agencies that terrorize working families. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: San Diego’s leaders need to realize the power of the people is stronger than the people in power," 4 Nov. 2020 Davenport said many victims remain in abusive households for fear of their pet’s safety as abusers victimize the pets to terrorize and threaten them. Yadira Sanchez Olson, chicagotribune.com, "Domestic abuse to be focus of online Lake County event," 26 Oct. 2020 But in Mexico, the weapon has come to symbolize a dangerous misalignment in the broader drug-war partnership between the two nations: Sold casually in the United States, it is increasingly being used to target and terrorize Mexicans. Washington Post, "The sniper rifles flowing to Mexican cartels show a decade of U.S. failure," 19 Nov. 2020 Tom arrives to help terrorize the mouse out of this house. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "A Tom and Jerry movie gets a hopeful plan for release in theaters next year," 17 Nov. 2020 Before that, though, the brothers will spend Saturday trying to terrorize Texas senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger at Royal-Memorial Stadium. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "No. 22 Texas braces for West Virginia and the Stills brothers," 6 Nov. 2020 The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Cox is a five-star recruit expected to pick up the mantle from Jon Greenard and terrorize teams off the edge. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "UF ready to challenge Georgia after Gators' rout of Missouri," 1 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for terrorize

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrorize was in 1823

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Statistics for terrorize

Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrorize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorize. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for terrorize

terrorize

verb
How to pronounce terrorize (audio)

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 terrorize (audio) \ noun

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Comments on terrorize

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