- distressing; severe: a terrible winter.
- extremely bad; horrible: terrible coffee; a terrible movie.
- exciting terror, awe, or great fear; dreadful; awful.
- formidably great: a terrible responsibility.
Origin of terrible
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for terribleness
His own nothingness and the terribleness of the power and the will of God was what he was to feel.Museum of Antiquity
L. W. Yaggy
In an instant I was rolling on the deck and shrieking from the terribleness of my suffering.East of Suez
Frederic Courtland Penfield
I mean in his power of heightening the glory and the terribleness of the human race.Visions and Revisions
John Cowper Powys
The terribleness that at times proceeds from them has no equal in any other condition of existence.The Goose Man
The terribleness of war has been forcibly impressed on all participants.Drum Taps in Dixie
Delavan S. Miller
- very serious or extremea terrible cough
- informal of poor quality; unpleasant or bada terrible meal; a terrible play
- causing terror
- causing awethe terrible nature of God
Word Origin and History for terribleness
early 15c., "causing terror, frightful," from Old French terrible (12c.), from Latin terribilis "frightful," from terrere "fill with fear," from PIE root *tres- "to tremble" (cf. Sanskrit trasati "trembles," Avestan tarshta "feared, revered," Greek treëin "to tremble," Lithuanian triseti "to tremble," Old Church Slavonic treso "I shake," Middle Irish tarrach "timid"). Weakened sense of "very bad, awful" is first attested 1590s.