[haw-rif-ik, ho-]


causing horror.

Origin of horrific

1645–55; < Latin horrificus, equivalent to horri- (combining form of horrēre to bristle with fear) + -ficus -fic
Related formshor·rif·i·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for horrific

Contemporary Examples of horrific

Historical Examples of horrific

  • 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 most fantastic and horrific of nightmares was actually materialised.

    Tropic Days

    E. J. Banfield

British Dictionary definitions for horrific



provoking horror; horrible
Derived Formshorrifically, 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

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