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[tuh-rif-ik] /təˈrɪf ɪk/
extraordinarily great or intense:
terrific speed.
extremely good; wonderful:
a terrific vacation.
causing terror; terrifying.
Origin of terrific
1660-70; < Latin terrificus frightening, equivalent to terr(ēre) to frighten + -i- -i- + -ficus -fic
Related forms
terrifically, adverb
unterrific, adjective
unterrifically, adverb
1, 2. extraordinary, remarkable. 2. fine, excellent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for terrific
  • They're terrific and her voice is wonderful and sort of from another era.
  • Leftover marmalade is also terrific on pork chops and roast beef.
  • The rain is terrific for the weeds, which continue to pop up all over the test garden at a tremendous pace.
  • Now it's time to meet these terrific people-five teams today and five tomorrow.
  • Joe makes a terrific nitrate-free chicken-liver pâté too.
  • The terrific noise it emitted was an explosion which made it erupt several fragments of volcanic materials.
  • It has been an amazing time meeting these terrific people.
  • Thanks for wonderfully useful information and for the terrific insights into what sight and sound mean in movies.
  • It was terrific to find this article up after all the intervening years.
  • Wow, this was a terrific demonstration, especially the time line.
British Dictionary definitions for terrific


very great or intense: a terrific noise
(informal) very good; excellent: a terrific singer
very frightening
Derived Forms
terrifically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin terrificus, from terrēre to frighten; see -fic
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 terrific

1660s, "frightening," from Latin terrificus "causing terror or fear," from terrere "fill with fear" (see terrible) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Weakened sensed of "very great, severe" (e.g. terrific headache) appeared 1809; colloquial sense of "excellent" began 1888.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for terrific



An intern (1970s+ Medical)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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