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[haw-rif-ik, ho-] /hɔˈrɪf ɪk, hɒ-/
causing horror.
Origin of horrific
1645-55; < Latin horrificus, equivalent to horri- (combining form of horrēre to bristle with fear) + -ficus -fic
Related forms
horrifically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for horrific
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A kind of gray glory enveloped him so that it resembled a steel-cased statue, immense, imposing, horrific in its distant splendor.

  • She merely sensed that it was red carnage, titanic, horrific.

    Good References E. J. Rath
  • The ramping and stamping, and roaring and scrambling for room to sit or lie, was horrific.

  • What happened after that is more obscure and fraught with horrific suggestion.

    The Fantasy Fan December 1933 Charles D. Hornig
  • Quite suddenly they seemed to stand up against the blazing sky, monstrous, horrific, smiting the senses like a blow.

    The Trail of '98 Robert W. Service
British Dictionary definitions for horrific


/hɒˈrɪfɪk; hə-/
provoking horror; horrible
Derived Forms
horrifically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for horrific

"causing horror," 1650s, from French horrifique or directly from Latin horrificus "dreadful, exciting terror," literally "making the hair stand on end," from horrere "to bristle, to stand on end" (see horror) + -ficus, from stem of facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Related: Horrifically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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