Definition of terrify in US English:

terrify

verb

[with object]
  • Cause to feel extreme fear.

    ‘the thought terrifies me’
    ‘he is terrified of spiders’
    with clause ‘she was terrified he would drop her’
    ‘the terrifying events of the past few weeks’
    • ‘I remember the music to Doctor Who used to terrify me.’
    • ‘Junior high and high school can terrify the wits out of those who are just entering.’
    • ‘It was terrifying making such a big commitment, particularly with planning it for so long.’
    • ‘The parents are terrified, their fears not at all eased by being referred to a brain surgeon.’
    • ‘The assertion that the noise of the parachutes opening can be terrifying puzzles me somewhat.’
    • ‘The sight of these illuminated beasts, belching out fire and smoke on a dark night was intended to terrify would-be intruders.’
    • ‘One reason for the shortage is road rage, which is terrifying the life out of some crossing wardens.’
    • ‘I've raced motorcycles and cars, so machinery and speed don't terrify me.’
    • ‘A robber who used a fake gun to terrify a shop assistant, sparking an armed police hunt, has been jailed for six years.’
    • ‘Some parts of the job I could do with my eyes closed, other parts baffle and terrify me.’
    • ‘Her terrifying ordeal came just months after her car was stolen and her home torched by arsonists.’
    • ‘Violent crime here is mercifully rare, despite some terrifying recent incidents.’
    • ‘Since that terrifying night she has been afraid to open her front door or go out among strangers.’
    • ‘Funny how I can watch all sorts of horror movies for hours and not get scared while that movie and its sequel terrify me!’
    • ‘Think back a moment, if you will, to the last seriously terrifying nightmare you had.’
    • ‘Liz said witnessing Jacob's stroke was the most terrifying thing she had ever seen.’
    • ‘To me, the more terrifying thing is when you find out that an actor that you admire is in the audience.’
    • ‘"We are terrified to go out at night because it is absolutely pitch black.’
    • ‘While fireworks can cause injury to animals, the noise they make can also terrify household pets.’
    • ‘He increasingly tries to terrify them rather than reassure them.’
    petrify, scare stiff, frighten someone out of their wits, scare someone out of their wits, scare witless, frighten to death, scare to death, frighten the living daylights out of, scare the living daylights out of, frighten the life out of, scare the life out of, scare the hell out of, strike terror into, fill with fear, put the fear of god into, make someone's blood run cold, chill someone's blood, paralyse with fear, make someone's flesh creep, give someone goose pimples, make someone's hair stand on end, send into a cold sweat, make someone shake in their shoes
    petrified, scared stiff, frightened out of one's wits, scared out of one's wits, scared witless, frightened to death, scared to death, terror-stricken, terror-struck, horror-stricken, horror-struck, paralysed with fear, horrified, panic-stricken, with one's heart in one's mouth, shaking in one's shoes, shaking like a leaf, frantic, hysterical, beside oneself
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: from Latin terrificare, from terrificus ‘frightening’ (see terrific).

Pronunciation

terrify

/ˈterəˌfī//ˈtɛrəˌfaɪ/