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

v coerce by violence or with threats

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"

v fill with terror; frighten greatly

terrify, terrorise
cause sudden fear in or fill with sudden panic
Type of:
affright, fright, frighten, scare
cause fear in

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