[ tuh-rif-ik ]
/ təˈrɪf ɪk /


extraordinarily great or intense: terrific speed.
extremely good; wonderful: a terrific vacation.
causing terror; terrifying.

Nearby words

  1. terri,
  2. terrible,
  3. terribly,
  4. terricolous,
  5. terrier,
  6. terrify,
  7. terrifying,
  8. terrigenous,
  9. terrine,
  10. territorial

Origin of terrific

1660–70; < Latin terrificus frightening, equivalent to terr(ēre) to frighten + -i- -i- + -ficus -fic

Related formster·rif·i·cal·ly, adverbun·ter·rif·ic, adjectiveun·ter·rif·i·cal·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for terrific

British Dictionary definitions for terrific


/ (təˈrɪfɪk) /


very great or intensea terrific noise
informal very good; excellenta terrific singer
very frightening
Derived Formsterrifically, adverb

Word Origin for terrific

C17: from Latin terrificus, from terrēre to frighten; see -fic

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 terrific



1660s, "frightening," from Latin terrificus "causing terror or fear," from terrere "fill with fear" (see terrible) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Weakened sensed of "very great, severe" (e.g. terrific headache) appeared 1809; colloquial sense of "excellent" began 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper