- intense, sharp, overmastering fear: to be frantic with terror.
- an instance or cause of intense fear or anxiety; quality of causing terror: to be a terror to evildoers.
- any period of frightful violence or bloodshed likened to the Reign of Terror in France.
- violence or threats of violence used for intimidation or coercion; terrorism.
- Informal. a person or thing that is especially annoying or unpleasant.
Origin of terror
Synonyms for terror
Antonyms for terror
- great fear, panic, or dread
- a person or thing that inspires great dread
- informal a troublesome person or thing, esp a child
Word Origin for terror
Word Origin and History for terrorful
late 14c., "great fear," from Old French terreur (14c.), from Latin terrorem (nominative terror) "great fear, dread," from terrere "fill with fear, frighten," from PIE root *tre- "shake" (see terrible). Meaning "quality of causing dread" is attested from 1520s; terror bombing first recorded 1941, with reference to German air attack on Rotterdam. Sense of "a person fancied as a source of terror" (often with deliberate exaggeration, as of a naughty child) is recorded from 1883. The Reign of Terror in French history (March 1793-July 1794) so called in English from 1801. Old English words for "terror" included broga and egesa.
Idioms and Phrases with terrorful
see holy terror.