a. Extremely large in amount, extent, or size; enormous: a tremendous sum of money. See Synonyms at enormous.
b. Very great in scope or importance: tremendous influence.
2. Remarkable; outstanding: What a tremendous example you have set.
3. Archaic Capable of making one tremble; terrible.
[From Latin tremendus, gerundive of tremere, to tremble.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.