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Wrongful act, other than a breach of contract, that injures another and for which the law permits a civil (noncriminal) action to be brought. Relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction. The term derives from Latin tortum, meaning something twisted, wrung, or crooked. Assault, defamation, malpractice, negligence, nuisance, product liability, property damage, and trespass are all (apart from their potentially criminal and contractual aspects) torts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tort, visit Britannica.com.