terrorism

noun
ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm \

Definition of terrorism

: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

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Other Words from terrorism

terrorist \ ˈter-​ər-​ist \ adjective or noun
terroristic \ ˌter-​ər-​ˈi-​stik \ adjective

Examples of terrorism in a Sentence

They have been arrested for acts of terrorism.

Recent Examples on the Web

If your worldview suggests the world is dangerous, the specter of terrorism will, of course, be especially concerning. Ezra Klein, Vox, "A new theory for why Republicans and Democrats see the world differently," 18 Dec. 2018 Safaa Boular, 18, of London was found guilty of preparing acts of terrorism. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "UK teen in all-female Islamic State cell convicted of plotting museum attack," 2 Oct. 2018 The music legend prefaced her headlining performance with a moving video montage including broadcast news clips about racial violence, white supremacy, and terrorism. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Janet Jackson Calls Out Racial Injustice and White Supremacy Onstage in NYC," 30 July 2018 But instead of issuing threats, Mattis has relied on rousing language, touting the importance of the alliance in combating terrorism and countering Russia. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 The decades-long alliance with Saudi Arabia has tangible benefits to the US, particularly in the Middle East, including pushing back against Iran and cooperation on terrorism. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trump’s Saudi Arabia decision is the perfect distillation of his worldview," 21 Nov. 2018 Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned in protest, accusing Netanyahu of being soft on terrorism, and another hard-line minister threatened to do the same — which would have sparked early elections — before backing down. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli Cabinet minister: Gaza leader’s days are numbered," 21 Nov. 2018 Admiral Richard wants to focus the submarine fleet away from the diversified missions of the post-9/11 period—which often included intelligence-gathering and other anti-terrorism missions—and back on the ability to fight other navies. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Is Taking 'Top Gun' to Sea with Submarines," 8 Nov. 2018 Adeeb is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence on terrorism and corruption charges. Krishan Francis, Fox News, "Maldives prepares for polls seen as test for young democracy," 21 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'terrorism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of terrorism

1795, in the meaning defined above

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More Definitions for terrorism

terrorism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of terrorism

: the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal

terrorism

noun
ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm \

Kids Definition of terrorism

: the use of violence as a means of achieving a goal

terrorism

noun
ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm \

Legal Definition of terrorism

1 : the unlawful use or threat of violence especially against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion
2 : violent and intimidating gang activity street terrorism

Other Words from terrorism

terrorist \ -​ist \ adjective or noun
terroristic \ ˌter-​ər-​ˈis-​tik \ adjective

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WORD OF THE DAY

to deny responsibility for

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