noun ter·ror \ˈter-ər, ˈte-rər\

: a very strong feeling of fear

: something that causes very strong feelings of fear : something that is terrifying

: violence that is committed by a person, group, or government in order to frighten people and achieve a political goal

Full Definition of TERROR

:  a state of intense fear
a :  one that inspires fear :  scourge
b :  a frightening aspect
c :  a cause of anxiety :  worry
d :  an appalling person or thing; especially :  brat
:  violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands
ter·ror·less \-ləs\ adjective

Origin of TERROR

Middle English, from Anglo-French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrēre to frighten; akin to Greek trein to be afraid, flee, tremein to tremble — more at tremble
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of TERROR

fear, dread, fright, alarm, panic, terror, trepidation mean painful agitation in the presence or anticipation of danger. fear is the most general term and implies anxiety and usually loss of courage <fear of the unknown>. dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety <faced the meeting with dread>. fright implies the shock of sudden, startling fear <fright at being awakened suddenly>. alarm suggests a sudden and intense awareness of immediate danger <view the situation with alarm>. panic implies unreasoning and overmastering fear causing hysterical activity <the news caused widespread panic>. terror implies the most extreme degree of fear <immobilized with terror>. trepidation adds to dread the implications of timidity, trembling, and hesitation <raised the subject with trepidation>.

Rhymes with TERROR

TERROR Defined for Kids


noun ter·ror \ˈter-ər\

Definition of TERROR for Kids

:  a state of great fear <They fled in terror.>
:  a cause of great fear <All these, however, were mere terrors of the night … — Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow>


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