When you terrorize someone, you act in a way that makes that person feel terrified, or full of fear. A bully might terrorize his younger victims by threatening to beat them up.

There are more and less serious ways to terrorize someone: actual terrorists, who use violence to achieve political goals, are a classic example of people who terrorize. A less grim way to terrorize might be an older sister coercing a younger brother into doing her chores by threatening to hide his favorite toys. In either case, the victim experiences some degree of fear, and the person who terrorizes feels a sense of power and control.

Definitions of terrorize
  1. verb
    coerce by violence or with threats
    synonyms: terrorise
    see moresee less
    type of:
    coerce, force, hale, pressure, squeeze
    to cause to do through pressure or necessity, by physical, moral or intellectual means :"She forced him to take a job in the city"
  2. verb
    fill with terror; frighten greatly
    synonyms: terrify, terrorise
    see moresee less
    cause sudden fear in or fill with sudden panic
    type of:
    affright, fright, frighten, scare
    cause fear in
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week