verb (used with object), ter·ror·ized, ter·ror·iz·ing.

to fill or overcome with terror.
to dominate or coerce by intimidation.
to produce widespread fear by acts of violence, as bombings.

Nearby words

  1. terror, reign of,
  2. terror-stricken,
  3. terrorise,
  4. terrorism,
  5. terrorist,
  6. terry,
  7. terry's syndrome,
  8. tersanctus,
  9. terse,
  10. tertial

Also especially British, ter·ror·ise.

Origin of terrorize

First recorded in 1815–25; terror + -ize

Related formster·ror·i·za·tion, nounter·ror·iz·er, nounun·ter·ror·ized, adjective

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

British Dictionary definitions for terrorize



verb (tr)

to coerce or control by violence, fear, threats, etc
to inspire with dread; terrify
Derived Formsterrorization or terrorisation, nounterrorizer or terroriser, noun

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 terrorize



"coerce or deter by terror," 1823, from terror + -ize (also cf. terrorism). Related: Terrorized; terrorizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper