- The intense fright you feel when you see a ghost is an example of terror.
- A weapon that causes extreme apprehension in enemies is an example of a weapon of terror.
- A dictator who kills citizens who don't seem to agree with his doctrine is an example of a terror.
- intense fear
- a person or thing causing intense fear
- the quality of causing such fear; terribleness
- a program of terrorism or a party, group, etc. resorting to terrorism
- Informal a very annoying or unmanageable person, esp. a child; nuisance; pest
Origin of terrorMiddle English terrour ; from Middle French terreur ; from Classical Latin terror ; from terrere, to frighten ; from Indo-European an unverified form ters-, to tremble (from source Classical Greek trein, to tremble, flee) ; from base an unverified form ter-, to wriggle
- Intense, overpowering fear. See Synonyms at fear.
- One that instills intense fear: a rabid dog that became the terror of the neighborhood.
- The ability to instill intense fear: the terror of jackboots pounding down the street.
- Violence committed or threatened by a group, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political goals.
- Terror The Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.
- Informal An annoying person or thing, especially an ill-mannered or disruptive child.
Origin of terrorMiddle English terrour, from Old French terreur, from Latin terror, from terr&emacron;re, to frighten. Usage Note: The word terrorism is sometimes shortened to terror, especially in phrases like the war on terror. The difference between the two words is subtle. Dropping the –ism suffix changes the focus from a reprehensible method of conducting a violent conflict to a moral abstraction. Thus, the war on terror conjures a grave, universal conflict between good and evil, where the war on terrorism does not.
(countable and uncountable, plural terrors)