See more synonyms for terrific on Thesaurus.com
  1. extraordinarily great or intense: terrific speed.
  2. extremely good; wonderful: a terrific vacation.
  3. causing terror; terrifying.

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

Synonyms for terrific

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for terrifically

Contemporary Examples of terrifically

Historical Examples of terrifically

  • I caught their amazed stares, and then terrifically they broke into gales of laughter.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • “I understand your game perfectly, Levake,” he said after he had raked him terrifically.

    The Mountain Divide

    Frank H. Spearman

  • For the moment she had forgotten that other thing so terrifically important.


    John Galsworthy

  • In a moment a terrifically lurid glare was cast over our decks.

    Old Jack

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • My dreams were terrifically disturbed by visions of the Angel of the Odd.

British Dictionary definitions for terrifically


  1. very great or intensea terrific noise
  2. informal very good; excellenta terrific singer
  3. 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 terrifically



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