- 1Extremely bad or serious: a terrible crime the terrible conditions in which the ordinary people livedMore example sentences
dreadful, awful, appalling, horrific, horrifying, horrible, horrendous, atrocious, abominable, abhorrent, frightful, fearful, shocking, hideous, ghastly, grim, dire, hateful, unspeakable, gruesome, monstrous, sickening, heinous, vile; serious, grave, acute, desperate, grievous, distressing, lamentable• rare egregioussevere, extreme, intense, excruciating, agonizing, unbearable, intolerable, unendurable, insufferabledreadful, awful, frightful, atrocious, hopeless, poor, inadequate, inferior, unsatisfactory, laughable, substandardNorth American • vulgar slang chickenshit
- Instead, he thought about Whitney, worried that she was in pain or that terrible things were happening to her.
- We can see a poor man in terrible trouble yet fail to help him.
- There, amid the danger and terrible conditions, he found a new sense of purpose.
- 1.1Extremely unpleasant or disagreeable: the weather was terribleMore example sentences
nasty, disgusting, very unpleasant, awful, dreadful, ghastly, horrid, horrible, vile, foul, abominable, frightful, loathsome, revolting, repulsive, odious, sickening, nauseating, nauseous, repellent, repugnant, horrendous, hideous, appalling, offensive, objectionable, obnoxious; noxious, evil-smelling, foul-smelling, smelly, stinking, rank, rancid, fetid, malodorous, acrid• informal gruesome, putrid, diabolical, yucky, sick-making, God-awful, gross, from hell, icky, stinkyAustralian • informal on the nose• archaic disgustful, loathly• rare miasmal, olidunkind, nasty, unpleasant, foul, obnoxious, vile, contemptible, despicable, wretched, shabby; spiteful, mean, malicious, poisonous, mean-spirited, cruel, hateful, hurtful; unfair, uncharitable, uncalled for, below the belt, unacceptable, unwarrantedBritish • informal out of order• vulgar slang shitty
- ‘This film features the character as a terrible and unpleasant person,’ Roth said adding that he regards himself as an angry man.
- In return, Jamie shuddered that it had been a ‘horrible, terrible film!’
- Do you fear it getting to the administration at all, or do you think this is just a horrible, terrible business scandal?
- 1.2Very unskilful: despite passing my driving test first time, I’m a terrible driver I was terrible at basketballMore example sentences
- I was never athletic, and I'm terrible at managing anger.
- I love singing but I'm terrible at it, but that won't stop me!
- Most of them are terrible at graphic design, and often see its deployment as an unwelcome imposition on their aesthetic vision.
- 1.3 [attributive] • informal Used to emphasize the extent of something unpleasant or bad: what a terrible messMore example sentences
- Why would he be selfish enough to kill himself and leave poor Delia with this terrible burden?
- His fiancée was accidentally drowned on the very eve of their wedding and Joseph Scriven was plunged into terrible sorrow.
- For it was only when that shocked medics were able to examine the X-Rays that they were able to judge the full extent of his terrible injury.
- 1.4Very unwell or troubled: I was sick all night and felt terrible for two daysMore example sentences
ill, unwell, poorly, bad, indisposed, sick, queasy, nauseous, nauseated, peaky, liverish, out of sorts, green about the gills; faint, dizzy, giddy, light-headed; British off, off colourBritish • informal grotty, ropyAustralian/New Zealand • informal crook• vulgar slang crappy• dated queer, seedy• rare peaked, peakishguilty, conscience-stricken, remorseful, guilt-ridden, ashamed, chastened, contrite, sorry, full of regret, regretful, repentant, penitent, shamefaced, self-reproachful, apologetic
- Only it was, and now you feel terrible, downright sick to the bottom of your stomach, and the look on Noah's face makes you instantly regret your decision to tell him.
- I paused before answering, feeling terrible and sick to my stomach.
- When someone approached and joked that he looked terrible, he smiled.
- 2Causing or likely to cause terror; sinister: the stranger gave a terrible smileMore example sentences
- Yet we knew a terrible secret far more sinister than Ray Martin's wig or the little green men at Roswell.
- Shuto screamed an ancient battle cry and charged into the night, the only light in the dark the sinister eyes of his terrible adversaries.
- She turned to Wolf with a terrible little smile.
- • informal A period in a child’s social development (typically around the age of two years) which is associated with very defiant or unruly behaviour.More example sentences
- Initially, the couple put his behaviour down to the "terrible twos" syndrome.
- She never went through the "terrible twos."
- This year's programmes explore the world of the " terrible twos ".
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- We have to see the reason behind the coercion, to experience the terribleness in the threat, before we, too, feel its presence.
- The harsh, methodical thrash of '80s-style death-metal, and annoying and heavy vocal stylings, do nothing to save this album from total terribleness.
- The terribleness of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me as a film is kind of too bad, because the biography here, the story, the real wit and spirit of the writing, deserves a wide audience.
late Middle English (in the sense 'causing terror'): via French from Latin terribilis, from terrere 'frighten'.