ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio) \

Definition of terrorism

: 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 Others, though, are deeply controversial – including an order designating certain types of street protests as terrorism, and the creation of an intelligence agency accountable only to the president. Andre Paultre And Sarah Marsh, The Christian Science Monitor, "The battle for democracy goes on in Haiti as Moïse gains power," 30 Mar. 2021 Klaeren dismissed a charge of threat of terrorism against Musico and Morrison. Washington Post, "N.C. Sen. Thom Tillis says he has prostate cancer," 29 Mar. 2021 Well, it's intertwined because, first of all, the Department of Homeland Security just said that the most persistent and lethal threat to our homeland is far-right white supremacist domestic terrorism. NBC News, "Meet the Press - March 28, 2021," 28 Mar. 2021 Beijing denies these allegations and defends the camps as a means to eradicate terrorism. Enrich your perspective. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Barristers, MPs, and academics are among the Brits now blacklisted from China," 26 Mar. 2021 Domestic terrorism is a key focus of the Biden administration. Kevin Krause, Dallas News, "‘Sovereign citizens’ allegedly filed $3 million fake award against Tarrant judges to harass them," 26 Mar. 2021 Again, there's no reason to suspect any connection to terrorism. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Jared Polis: 'No reason' to suspect any ties to terrorism in Boulder shooting," 24 Mar. 2021 Salah has been arrested on a number of occasions, and is currently in jail after being convicted of inciting terrorism. Joseph Krauss, Star Tribune, "Tight Israeli vote means Arab Islamist could choose next PM," 24 Mar. 2021 In recent years, Beijing has ramped up restrictions on Islam in the name of fighting terrorism. James Griffiths, CNN, "The US is sanctioning Chinese officials over alleged abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Here's what you need to know," 24 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for terrorism

Time Traveler

The first known use of terrorism was in 1795

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Statistics for terrorism

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Terrorism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism. Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for terrorism



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


ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio) \

Kids Definition of terrorism

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


ter·​ror·​ism | \ ˈter-ər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce terrorism (audio) \

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 How to pronounce terrorism (audio) \ adjective or noun
terroristic \ ˌter-​ər-​ˈis-​tik How to pronounce terrorism (audio) \ adjective

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