Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Intense, overpowering fear. See Synonyms at fear.
  • n. One that instills intense fear: a rabid dog that became the terror of the neighborhood.
  • n. The ability to instill intense fear: the terror of jackboots pounding down the street.
  • n. Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes.
  • n. Informal An annoying or intolerable pest: that little terror of a child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. intense dread, fright, or fear.
  • n. specific instances of being intensely terrified
  • n.  the action or quality of causing dread; terribleness, especially such qualities in narrative fiction
  • n.  something or someone that causes such fear.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Extreme fear; fear that agitates body and mind; violent dread; fright.
  • n. That which excites dread; a cause of extreme fear.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fill with terror.
  • n. Extreme fear or fright; violent dread.
  • n. A person or thing that terrifies or strikes with terror; a cause of dread or extreme fear: often used in humorous exaggeration.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a very troublesome child
  • n. the use of extreme fear in order to coerce people (especially for political reasons)
  • n. a person who inspires fear or dread
  • n. an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety

Etymologies

Middle English terrour, from Old French terreur, from Latin terror, from terrēre, to frighten.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French terreur ("terror, fear, dread"), from Latin accusative terrorem ("fright, fear, terror"), from terrere ("to frighten, terrify"), from Proto-Indo-European *tre- (“to shake”), Proto-Indo-European *tres- (“to tremble”). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If Iraq is key to Bush's 'terror war' ... we're losing yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'If Iraq is key to Bush\'s \'terror war\' ... we\'re losing '; yahooBuzzArticleSummary =' Article: If Democrats are going to continue to acknowledge Bush\'s \'terror war\ ', they should oblige him and aggressively tie it to the quagmire in Iraq and his regime\'s wallowing failures elsewhere in the world.'

    If Iraq is key to Bush's 'terror war' . . . we're losing

  • Terrorist movements have frequently consisted of members of the educated middle classes, but there has also been agrarian terrorism, terror by the uprooted and the rejected, and trade union and working-class terror….

    The Riddle of Terrorism

  • I often sat and wondered why the monster didn't flee in terror from the report of the gun.

    Learning From Old Bucks

  • Don't you love the little cartoon boy and girl running in terror from the invading Martian death rays?

    May 27th, 2009

  • Suffice it to say, my honest anger for the victims of Katrina used the term terror in its appropriate definition.

    Larisa Alexandrovna: Andrew Sully and Moore Disorder

  • The West does not own the term terror, nor does this administration.

    Larisa Alexandrovna: Andrew Sully and Moore Disorder

  • But their assassinations and long history of hostage-taking have earned FARC the label terror organization by the U.S. and the European Union.

    CNN Transcript Jul 3, 2008

  • But their assassinations and long history of hostage-taking has earned FARC the label terror organization by the United States and the European Union.

    CNN Transcript Jul 3, 2008

  • Similarly, the term terror suspects is used liberally, with little indication of what such suspicion is based on.

    The Mindless Mainstream Media

  • The war in terror is a subterfuge for the NeoCon agenda of promoting continuous war with the aim of establishing permanent bases across the Mid Eastern-Eurasian geographical corridor adjacent to the Caspian Sea Basin reserves.

    Think Progress » Cheney: If U.S. Troops Come Home, Osama Bin Laden Will Rule Iraq

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Comments

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  • yo, I was just looking at Wikipedia re: collective nouns and found out a fun old name for collective nouns specific to animals: term of venery

    September 12, 2014

  • What if they were the cute hipster Tyrannosaurs from my basket-weaving class?

    September 7, 2014

  • "a terror of Tyrannosaurs"
    a proposed name for a group of Tyrannosaurs, according to Dr. Richard McCrae http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/2014/09/06/2014-09-06-3/

    September 7, 2014