[ ter-uh-buhl ]
/ ˈtɛr ə bəl /


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

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin terribilis, equivalent to terr(ēre) to frighten + -ibilis -ible


3 fearful, frightful, appalling, dire, horrible, horrifying, terrifying, horrendous, horrid.

Related forms

ter·ri·ble·ness, nounun·ter·ri·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for terribleness

British Dictionary definitions for terribleness


/ (ˈtɛrəbəl) /


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

Derived Forms

terribleness, noun

Word Origin for terrible

C15: from Latin terribilis, from terrēre to terrify
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