[trih-men-duh s]
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  1. extraordinarily great in size, amount, or intensity: a tremendous ocean liner; tremendous talent.
  2. extraordinary in excellence: a tremendous movie.
  3. dreadful or awful, as in character or effect; exciting fear; frightening; terrifying.

Origin of tremendous

1625–35; < Latin tremendus dreadful, to be shaken by, equivalent to trem(ere) to shake, quake + -endus gerund suffix
Related formstre·men·dous·ly, adverbtre·men·dous·ness, nounun·tre·men·dous, adjectiveun·tre·men·dous·ly, adverbun·tre·men·dous·ness, noun

Synonyms for tremendous

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1. See huge. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for tremendous


  1. vast; huge
  2. informal very exciting or unusual
  3. informal (intensifier)a tremendous help
  4. archaic terrible or dreadful
Derived Formstremendously, adverbtremendousness, noun

Word Origin for tremendous

C17: from Latin tremendus terrible, literally: that is to be trembled at, from tremere to quake
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 tremendous

1630s, "awful, dreadful, terrible," from Latin tremendus "fearful, terrible," literally "to be trembled at," gerundive form of tremere "to tremble" (see tremble). Hyperbolic or intensive sense of "extraordinarily great or good, immense" is attested from 1812, paralleling semantic changes in terrific, terribly, awfully, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper