tort

noun \ ˈtȯrt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of tort

:a wrongful act other than a breach of contract for which relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction

Recent Examples of tort from the Web

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

Did You Know?

Tort came into English straight from French many centuries ago, and it still looks a little odd. Its root meaning of "twisted" (as opposed to "straight") obviously came to mean "wrong" (as opposed to "right"). Every first-year law student takes a course in the important subject of torts. Torts include all the so-called "product-liability" cases, against manufacturers of cars, household products, children's toys, and so on. They also cover dog bites, slander and libel, and a huge variety of other very personal cases of injury, both mental and physical—Torts class is never dull. If you're sued for a tort and lose, you usually have to pay "damages"—that is, a sum of money—to the person who you wronged.

Origin and Etymology of tort

Middle English, injury, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin tortum, from Latin, neuter of tortus twisted, from past participle of torquēre


TORT Defined for English Language Learners

tort

noun

Definition of tort for English Language Learners

  • law : an action that wrongly causes harm to someone but that is not a crime and that is dealt with in a civil court


Law Dictionary

tort

noun \ ˈtȯrt \

legal Definition of tort

:a wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which the law imposes civil liability :a violation of a duty (as to exercise due care) imposed by law as distinguished from contract for which damages or declaratory relief (as an injunction) may be obtained; also :a cause of action based on such an act
  • the court declined to recognize the tort
  • National Law Journal
  • cannot sue in tort
— compare crime, delict

Origin and Etymology of tort

Anglo-French, wrongful or illegal act, from Old French, injury, from Medieval Latin tortum, from Latin, neuter of tortus twisted, from past participle of torquēre to twist



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