Definitions

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

  • adj. Extremely large in amount, extent, or degree; enormous: a tremendous task. See Synonyms at enormous.
  • adj. Informal Marvelous; wonderful: had a tremendous time at the theater last night.
  • adj. Capable of making one tremble; terrible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. awe-inspiring; terrific.
  • adj. Notable for its size, power, or excellence.
  • adj. Extremely large (in amount, extent, degree, etc.) or great

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Fitted to excite fear or terror; such as may astonish or terrify by its magnitude, force, or violence; terrible; dreadful

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Such as may or does excite trembling, fear, or awe; overpowering in character or quality; awful; dreadful: as, a tremendous explosion; tremendous invective.
  • Hence Such as to excite astonishment or awe; unexampled; wonderful in a high degree; overwhelming; astounding: used intensively or hyperbolically.
  • Synonyms Frightful, terrific, horrible, appalling.

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

  • adj. extreme in degree or extent or amount or impact
  • adj. extraordinarily good or great ; used especially as intensifiers
  • adj. extraordinarily large in size or extent or amount or power or degree

Etymologies

From Latin tremendus, gerundive of tremere, to tremble.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tremendus ("fearful, terrible"), gerund form of tremere ("to tremble"), from Ancient Greek τρέμω (tremo) (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • You mentioned the word tremendous upside and that sounds bullish from you and knowing you in the past, I haven't heard you talk like that.

  • The plant upgrades will make the company better able to produce quickly enough to meet consumer demand for the Volt, which it calls tremendous.

    Ford's New Factory In China, GM Rocks On In Detroit

  • Abbas said earlier today that he would not be deterred from seeking UN recognition for a Palestinian despite what he described as "tremendous pressure."

    UN bid for Palestine statehood - live coverage

  • Abbas said earlier Monday that he would not be deterred from seeking U.N. recognition for Palestine despite what he described as "tremendous pressure."

    Palestinians will submit U.N. membership letter

  • On Afghanistan, where Poland has about 2,500 troops serving with the International Security Assistance Force ISAF, President Obama recognized what he called the tremendous sacrifices of Poland's military.

    Polish President Presses for Ratification of New START

  • After what it called a tremendous effort, the Coast Guard called off all search efforts yesterday.

    CNN Transcript Mar 4, 2009

  • TODD: Still, one historian says, the release of this after Ford's death carries what he calls tremendous gravity, because presidents have historically been hesitant to criticize their successors, unless they felt a compelling need.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2006

  • The question, do you agree with Homeland Security Michael Chertoff's assertion that National Guard troops are already having what he calls a tremendous impact on improving border security.

    CNN Transcript Aug 18, 2006

  • TODD: Still, one historian says, the release of this after Ford's death carries what he calls tremendous gravity.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2006

  • TODD: Still, one historian says the release of this after Ford's death carries what he calls tremendous gravity as for the protocol of former presidents keeping quiet about their successors.

    CNN Transcript Dec 28, 2006

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  • Yay! Wordies RULE!!!

    October 5, 2007

  • Holy craparoni!

    October 5, 2007

  • oroboros: pft!

    October 5, 2007

  • I'm told that the words hazardous, horrendous, stupendous and tremendous are the only four words that end in 'dous' in the English language. Come on, Wordies, let's prove 'em wrong!

    October 5, 2007

  • They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but, to me, a modest woman, drest out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation.
    Goldsmith, She Stoops, II

    January 10, 2007