Terror is the feeling of extreme fear. If you unexpectedly find someone dressed up as a vampire in your closet in the middle of a dark night, you might well experience feelings of terror.

If you feel terror, you are frozen to the spot in fear. This is the goal of terrorists who use terror as a weapon — they create a climate of fear and mistrust so that people are afraid to go about their normal lives. You will recognize this use in the phrase “the war on terror.” You can also call a difficult or scary person, often a child who causes havoc, a terror or a holy terror.

Definitions of terror
  1. noun
    an overwhelming feeling of fear and anxiety
    synonyms: affright, panic
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    a panic or extreme discomposure
    type of:
    fear, fearfulness, fright
    an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)
  2. noun
    the use of extreme fear in order to coerce people (especially for political reasons)
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    act of terrorism, terrorism, terrorist act
    the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear
    biological terrorism, bioterrorism
    terrorism using the weapons of biological warfare
    chemical terrorism
    terrorism using the chemical agents of chemical warfare; can undermine the personal security of citizens
    cyber-terrorism, cyberterrorism, cyberwar
    an assault on electronic communication networks
    domestic terrorism
    terrorism practiced in your own country against your own people
    eco-warfare, ecological terrorism, ecological warfare, ecoterrorism
    violence carried out to further the political or social objectives of the environmentalists
    international terrorism
    terrorism practiced in a foreign country by terrorists who are not native to that country
    the financing of terrorist activities by participation in the drug trade
    nuclear terrorism
    the use of a nuclear device by a terrorist organization to cause massive devastation or the use (or threat of use) of fissionable radioactive materials
    state-sponsored terrorism
    terrorism practiced by a government against its own people or in support of international terrorism
    terrorism for a religious purpose
    terrorist attack
    a surprise attack involving the deliberate use of violence against civilians in the hope of attaining political or religious aims
    type of:
    the act of compelling by force of authority
  3. noun
    a person who inspires fear or dread
    “he was the terror of the neighborhood”
    synonyms: scourge, threat
  4. noun
    a very troublesome child
    synonyms: brat, holy terror, little terror
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    type of:
    imp, monkey, rapscallion, rascal, scalawag, scallywag, scamp
    one who is playfully mischievous
Word Family

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