terrorism

noun

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

Example Sentences

They have been arrested for acts of terrorism.
Recent Examples on the Web That is not because the threat of terrorism disappeared. Jonah Bader, CNN, 25 Nov. 2022 The apparent Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack came as the E.U. legislative body voted to designate Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism. Kelly Kasulis Cho, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2022 In a largely symbolic move, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Marc Santora, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Nov. 2022 The European Parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly backed a resolution labeling Russia a state sponsor of terrorism for its invasion of and actions in Ukraine. Arkansas Online, 24 Nov. 2022 In a largely symbolic move, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to label Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, 23 Nov. 2022 Roggio pointed out that despite the spreading threat, the U.S. and other Western governments have shown little appetite for an offensive campaign against terrorism. Michael Lee, Fox News, 11 Sep. 2022 Tech has made this type of surveillance expand to previously unimaginable levels, all framed as a state’s defense against domestic terrorism. Reina Sultan, Essence, 11 Sep. 2022 In remarks 11 month ago, Biden had said the U.S. would keep up the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries, despite pulling out troops. Zeke Miller, Aamer Madhani, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

terrorism

noun

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

terrorism

noun

ter·​ror·​ism ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio)
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
terrorist adjective or noun
terroristic adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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