From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishterrorter‧ror /ˈterə $ -ər/ ●●○ W3 noun 1 fear [uncountable] a feeling of extreme fearin terror People fled in terror as fire tore through the building. Shots rang out, and I screamed in terror. We lived in terror of our father when he was drinking. There was a look of sheer terror (=complete terror) on his face.strike terror into somebody/sb’s heart The sound of enemy planes struck terror into our hearts.► see thesaurus at fear2 frightening situation [countable]FRIGHTENED an event or situation that makes people feel extremely frightened, especially because they think they may dieterror of the terrors of war Death holds no terrors for (=does not frighten) me.3 violent action [uncountable]SCB violent action for political purposes SYN terrorism The resistance movement started a campaign of terror. The Red Army Faction tried to undermine the state by terror tactics. Pol Pot’s reign of terror in Cambodia4 person [countable] informalANNOY a child who is difficult to control That Johnson kid’s a real little terror! → reign of terror at reign1(4), → a holy terror at holy(4)COLLOCATIONSadjectivessheer/pure terror (=complete and total terror)The horse galloped off in sheer terror down the path.absolute/stark terror (=extreme terror)On his face was an expression of absolute terror.mortal terror literary (=very great terror)The crew was in mortal terror of drowning.phrasesstrike terror into somebody’s heartHis fearsome appearance strikes terror into the hearts of his enemies.flee in terrorThe children fled in terror as the barn caught fire.scream/shriek in terrorShe jumped to her feet, screaming in terror.live in terrorEveryone lived in terror of the religious police.verbsinspire terrorThe main aim of suicide bombers is to inspire terror in the population.
Examples from the Corpusterror• Terror-stricken refugees fled across the border.• There was an expression of frozen terror on Emilia's face.• Shots were fired, and the children fled in terror.• As they saw this wonder each looked in terror at the other, and dropping their eyes they prayed silently.• Her eyes fixed themselves in terror on the door.• The resistance movement started a campaign of terror.• A feeling of terror gripped us as we listened to his story.• Denver burst from the room, terror in her eyes.• I will never forget the look of sheer terror on her face.• He barely survived the terror of the river rapids.• The terror, if not the actuality, of the disease has survived into our own time.• Trapped between twin terrors, he allowed his body to sink within the folds of jackets and overcoats.• Sometimes you have a feeling of pure, undiluted terror.• On the high hilltop in the darkness Psyche sat, waiting for she knew not what terror.• Their faces were white, and their eyes were filled with terror.• The men on the quivering, battered boat were mad with terror.strike terror into somebody/somebody’s heart• The Slav opposition collapsed almost immediately, as if the very name of Charles had struck terror into their hearts.• The very physical description of the Huns proved sufficient in and of itself to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies.• Every crisis would strike terror into the hearts of people everywhere.reign of terror• One of the H. Fire development bright colours within only a few days and began a reign of terror.• He led a reign of terror until his conversion to Catholicism in 989.• He was, simultaneously, a loving father and sensitive poet and a ruthless dictator who presided over a reign of terror.• The Grantley Ripper looked set for a long reign of terror.• Some reformists suggest it was part of a proposed reign of terror.• The team is based in a local government building, bugged during Ceaucescu's reign of terror.• Heaven knows what his victim had been eating before the battle, but it ended Seiguard's reign of terror, permanently.• The 53-year-old railway worker abused his stepdaughter and two step-granddaughters in a 12-year reign of terror.Origin terror (1300-1400) Old French terreur, from Latin terror, from terrere; → TERRIBLE