ter·​ror·​ism ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio)
: the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion

Examples of terrorism in a Sentence

They have been arrested for acts of terrorism.
Recent Examples on the Web The foundation's David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship provides full tuition, medical care, and social and emotional support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria. Erin Hill, Peoplemag, 10 May 2024 Immigration remains a dominant campaign theme for Republicans, even though the Pew survey ranks it behind the economy, healthcare costs, education and terrorism as Americans’ top priorities for the next Congress and president. Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for terrorism 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'terrorism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1795, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of terrorism was in 1795

Dictionary Entries Near terrorism

Cite this Entry

“Terrorism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


ter·​ror·​ism ˈter-ər-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce terrorism (audio)
: the use of terror as a means of achieving a goal
terrorist adjective or noun

Legal Definition


ter·​ror·​ism ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio)
: the unlawful use or threat of violence especially against the state or the public as a politically motivated means of attack or coercion
: violent and intimidating gang activity
street terrorism
terrorist adjective or noun
terroristic adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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