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a holy terror
A very troublesome, aggressive, or aggravating person; a person who is exasperatingly difficult in manner or behavior. I know that I was a holy terror when I was young, so I guess it's fitting that my own kids give me so much trouble.
blanch with (an emotion)
To become visibly pale as a result of feeling a particular emotion. All of my friends ran into the creepy haunted house, but I blanched with fear when I saw it. Stella blanched with disgust at the plate of cooked ants that had been set before her.
See also: blanch
hold terror for (someone)
To cause one to feel fear. The thought of telling my parents about the awful things I've done holds great terror for me. Before I did exposure therapy, driving held terror for me. Now, I drive all over the place!
king of terrors
1. Death as an idea or personification. In those days, the king of terrors was ever present in families' lives, such that they were forever prepared to confront the death of a loved one at almost any given moment.
2. That which is a notable cause of death. Her blood ran cold when the doctor said it could be that king of terrors, cancer.
reign of terror
A period of oppression by a hostile ruler. Sometimes used hyperbolically. The people could only tolerate the dictator's reign of terror for so long before they started a revolution. Is mom finished with her reign of terror, or do we have to keep cleaning the house every weekend?
strike fear into (one)
To frighten, terrify, or horrify someone. While rather impractical and ineffective in combat, the use of flamethrowers in World War II was very effective at striking fear into civilians and enemy soldiers alike. The recent epidemic has struck fear into countries around the world.
strike terror into (one)
To frighten, terrify, or horrify someone. While rather impractical and ineffective in combat, the use of flamethrowers in World War II was very effective at striking terror into civilians and enemy soldiers alike. The recent epidemic has struck terror into countries around the world.
strike terror into (one's) heart
To frighten, terrify, or horrify someone. Can also be phrased "strike terror into the heart of (someone)." While rather impractical and ineffective in combat, the use of flamethrowers in World War II was very effective at striking terror into the hearts of civilians and enemy soldiers alike. The recent epidemic has struck terror into people's hearts around the world.
hold terror for someone
[for something] to be frightening to a person. The thought of flying to Rio by myself held great terror for me. Nothing holds terror for me. I am a daredevil.
An exasperating individual, as in He was only five, but he was a holy terror, running wild through the house and throwing whatever he could lay his hands on . The adjective holy here is an intensifier. [Late 1800s]
a reign of terror
COMMON A reign of terror is a period during which there is a lot of violence and killing, especially by people who are in positions of power. The dictator's 17-year reign of terror had ended and the people took to the streets to celebrate their freedom. His victims during a four-month reign of terror included a schoolgirl and a student. Note: The original Reign of Terror was during the French Revolution between April 1793 and July 1794, when many thousands were put to death by the government.
king of terrorsdeath personified.
strike ˌfear, ˌterror, etc. into somebody/somebody’s ˈheart(formal) make somebody feel fear, terror, etc: His crimes struck horror into the nation’s heart.
n. a devilish person; a badly behaving child. Why is the boss such a holy terror today?