Definition of terrified adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈterɪfaɪd//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈterɪfaɪd//
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  • very frightened terrified (of somebody/something) to be terrified of spiders terrified (of doing something) I'm terrified of losing you. terrified (that…) He was terrified (that) he would fall. terrified (at something) She was terrified at the thought of being alone. You look absolutely terrified! She looked at him with wide, terrified eyes. Synonymsafraidfrightened scared terrified alarmed paranoidThese words all describe feeling or showing fear.afraid [not before noun] feeling fear; worried that something bad might happen:There’s nothing to be afraid of. Aren’t you afraid (that) you’ll fall?frightened feeling fear; worried that something bad might happen:a frightened child She was frightened that the glass would break.scared (rather informal) feeling fear; worried that something bad might happen:The thieves got scared and ran away.afraid, frightened or scared?Scared is more informal, more common in speech, and often describes small fears. Afraid cannot come before a noun. It can only take the preposition of, not about. If you are afraid/​frightened/​scared of somebody/​something/​doing something or afraid/​frightened/​scared to do something, you think you are in danger of being hurt or suffering in some way. If you are frightened/​scared about something/​doing something, it is less a fear for your personal safety and more a worry that something unpleasant might happen.terrified very frightened:I was terrified (that) she wouldn’t come. She looked at him with wide, terrified eyes.alarmed afraid that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen:She was alarmed at the prospect of travelling alone.paranoid (rather informal) afraid or suspicious of other people and believing that they are trying to harm you, in a way that is not reasonable:You’re just being paranoid.Patterns afraid/​frightened/​scared of spiders, etc. frightened/​scared/​paranoid about afraid/​frightened/​scared/​terrified that afraid/​frightened/​scared to open the door, etc. Don’t be afraid/​frightened/​scared/​alarmed.
  • Extra examples She was absolutely terrified at the thought of jumping off the bridge. I was terrified (that) she wouldn’t come. I’m terrified of losing you.Idioms
    be frightened/scared/terrified out of your wits
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    to be very frightened
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: terrified