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[trih-men-duh s] /trɪˈmɛn dəs/
extraordinarily great in size, amount, or intensity:
a tremendous ocean liner; tremendous talent.
extraordinary in excellence:
a tremendous movie.
dreadful or awful, as in character or effect; exciting fear; frightening; terrifying.
Origin of tremendous
1625-35; < Latin tremendus dreadful, to be shaken by, equivalent to trem(ere) to shake, quake + -endus gerund suffix
Related forms
tremendously, adverb
tremendousness, noun
untremendous, adjective
untremendously, adverb
untremendousness, noun
1. See huge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tremendous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We 'aint got no bees;' and with that he took one of his tremendous pinches of snuff.

    I've Been Thinking; Azel Stevens Roe
  • To the electors of Frome he spoke of the tremendous responsibility of the Ministers.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • His veins seemed to surge with fresh power, as if there were nothing too tremendous for him to accomplish.

    The Haunters of the Silences Charles G. D. Roberts
  • We had a tremendous passage home--one of the worst I ever experienced at sea.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • With infinite pains he sought out the history of the French Revolution and obtained a clear picture of that tremendous event.

    Side Lights James Runciman
British Dictionary definitions for tremendous


vast; huge
(informal) very exciting or unusual
(informal) (intensifier): a tremendous help
(archaic) terrible or dreadful
Derived Forms
tremendously, adverb
tremendousness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin tremendus terrible, literally: that is to be trembled at, from tremere to quake
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 tremendous

1630s, "awful, dreadful, terrible," from Latin tremendus "fearful, terrible," literally "to be trembled at," gerundive form of tremere "to tremble" (see tremble). Hyperbolic or intensive sense of "extraordinarily great or good, immense" is attested from 1812, paralleling semantic changes in terrific, terribly, awfully, etc.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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