Definition of terrorize in English:


(British terrorise)


[with object]
  • Create and maintain a state of extreme fear and distress in (someone); fill with terror.

    ‘he used his private army to terrorize the population’
    ‘the union said staff would not be terrorized into ending their strike’
    • ‘He really enjoys himself when he can mentally terrorize his audience, shocking them to a catharsis.’
    • ‘Two former students of Kingsdown School have been told to keep out of its grounds and area after terrorising teachers and pupils for a year and a half.’
    • ‘She has been in trouble with the police since she was 11, stealing, terrorising the neighbours, setting fire to things.’
    • ‘A witness to the robberies said the victims were terrorised by their attackers and were visibly shaking with fear.’
    • ‘A gang of young girls is terrorising residents of Darwin's northern suburbs.’
    • ‘The thought never crossed our minds that someone could walk into our house at night to terrorize us.’
    • ‘The horrors they commit are done by a few and are done for a political reason: to terrorize their enemies.’
    • ‘Over the last few months, councillors and residents say some local youngsters have been on the warpath, terrorising the people of Sutton.’
    • ‘It's classic terrorism where you attack the general population to terrorize the people to achieve a political aim.’
    • ‘The murder was likely aimed at terrorizing the local residents.’
    • ‘A temporary banning order designed to stop two teenage thugs from terrorising residents has been extended for a further five weeks.’
    • ‘A former prison officer who works at a village youth club today spoke out on behalf of teenagers who have been blamed for terrorising residents.’
    • ‘They are taking action against a gang of bullies who are terrorising workers at the city's main mail depot.’
    • ‘If we get a clear look at the thing that is terrorising us, we gain some measuring of understanding of it, and our imaginations don't work anywhere near as hard.’
    • ‘He often played the bully, terrorizing players young and old alike to improve his team's chances of winning.’
    • ‘Posters and leaflets are being distributed at Oldhams estate to publicise the terms of a court order banning the boy from terrorising residents.’
    • ‘Extremists seek to terrorize innocent men, women and children, whoever they are and wherever they may live.’
    • ‘A massive European eagle owl believed to have been released illegally is terrorising walkers and animals on Ilkley Moor.’
    • ‘He used to terrorize me, but as I grew older, he became funny to me.’
    • ‘Vandals brought havoc to two villages at the weekend causing damage and terrorizing residents.’
    strike terror in, strike terror into, fill with terror, scare, frighten, terrify, petrify
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