Definitions

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

  • noun Intense, overpowering fear. synonym: fear.
  • noun One that instills intense fear.
  • noun The ability to instill intense fear.
  • noun Violence committed or threatened by a group, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political goals.
  • noun The Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.
  • noun Informal An annoying person or thing, especially an ill-mannered or disruptive child.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

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

  • noun Extreme fear; fear that agitates body and mind; violent dread; fright.
  • noun That which excites dread; a cause of extreme fear.
  • noun death.
  • noun (French Hist.) See in Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.

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

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English terrour, from Old French terreur, from Latin terror, from terrēre, to frighten.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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”).

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

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

    Learning From Old Bucks

  • 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

  • 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

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

    The Mindless Mainstream Media

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "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

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

    September 7, 2014

  • 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