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[haw-rif-ik, ho-] /hɔˈrɪf ɪk, hɒ-/
causing horror.
Origin of horrific
1645-55; < Latin horrificus, equivalent to horri- (combining form of horrēre to bristle with fear) + -ficus -fic
Related forms
horrifically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for horrific
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With horrific pants he emitted smokiest smoke and fiercest fire.

    The Golden Age Kenneth Grahame
  • The picture is a tragic one, cumulative in its horrific details.

    The Merry-Go-Round Carl Van Vechten
  • She merely sensed that it was red carnage, titanic, horrific.

    Good References E. J. Rath
  • What happened after that is more obscure and fraught with horrific suggestion.

    The Fantasy Fan December 1933 Charles D. Hornig
  • The most fantastic and horrific of nightmares was actually materialised.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
British Dictionary definitions for horrific


/hɒˈrɪfɪk; hə-/
provoking horror; horrible
Derived Forms
horrifically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for horrific

"causing horror," 1650s, from French horrifique or directly from Latin horrificus "dreadful, exciting terror," literally "making the hair stand on end," from horrere "to bristle, to stand on end" (see horror) + -ficus, from stem of facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Related: Horrifically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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