Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Very good or fine; splendid.
  • adjective Awesome; astounding.
  • adjective Causing terror or great fear; terrifying.
  • adjective Very bad or unpleasant; frightful.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Causing terror; fitted to excite great fear or dread; dreadful: as, a terrific storm.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Causing terror; adapted to excite great fear or dread; terrible

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective colloquial Frighteningly good.
  • adjective colloquial Astounding or awesome.
  • adjective Terrifying; causing terror
  • adjective Frightful or very unpleasant.
  • adjective colloquial Extraordinarily great or intense.

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

  • adjective extraordinarily good or great ; used especially as intensifiers
  • adjective causing extreme terror
  • adjective very great or intense

Etymologies

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

[Latin terrificus : terrēre, to frighten + -ficus, -fic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin terrificus ("causing terror"), from terrere ("to frighten, terrify") + -ficus, from facere ("to make").

Examples

Comments

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  • "But, Charlotte," said Wilbur, "I'm not terrific."

    "That doesn't make a particle of difference," replied Charlotte. "Not a particle. People believe almost anything they see in print."

    –Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)

    April 20, 2008

  • A contranym: it means both "inducing terror" and fantastic or amazing.

    May 15, 2008