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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
  • Right near my home, a horrific car accident took the lives of eight people, four of them children.
  • Presidents and coaches are being fired for their lack of judgment, lack of care, and in some cases horrific crimes.
  • Otherwise, the delay would no doubt be truly horrific.
  • There are horrific nightmares all around the world, but there's something special about this one.
  • When an evolving viral disease hops a species barrier, it can sometimes cause horrific infections.
  • The neighborhood has been deeply affected by that horrific act of cowardice.
  • Contemplating suicide, when done seriously, is a horrific thing.
  • Fear of an unknown disease is far tougher to manage than a rare natural disaster, however horrific.
  • Our children wield their adaptive plasticity amid small but horrific risks.
  • The crime scene had shown a horrific act but carried no physical traces at all of the defendants.
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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