Meaning of “terrible” in the English Dictionary

"terrible" in British English

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uk /ˈter.ə.bəl/ us /ˈter.ə.bəl/

terrible adjective (UNPLEASANT)

A2 very unpleasant or serious or of low quality:

The weather was terrible.
We have just received some terrible news.

More examples

  • I felt terrible last night but I feel fine this morning.
  • That restaurant was terrible - I'm never going back there again.
  • Most of these women are very poorly paid and work in terrible conditions.
  • I've got no sense of rhythm, so I'm a terrible dancer.
  • I'll be blunt - that last piece of work you did was terrible.

terrible adjective (BAD AT)

very bad at doing something:

You're a terrible liar.
I'm a terrible skier/swimmer/dancer.

terrible adjective (VERY GREAT)

informal used to emphasize the great degree of something:

This project is a terrible waste of money.
UK She's a terrible nuisance.

More examples

  • I had a terrible headache, but even so I went to the concert.
  • I find threading a needle a terrible fiddle.
  • She ran from the house in a terrible rage, her arms flailing in the air.
  • She's a terrible gossip.
  • I had a terrible hangover the next morning.

(Definition of “terrible” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"terrible" in American English

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us /ˈter·ə·bəl/

very unpleasant or serious or bad:

I saw terrible things happen.
My mother was a terrible cook.

(Definition of “terrible” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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