tort

noun
\ˈtȯrt \

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

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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.

Examples of tort in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In Arkansas, outside groups earlier this year spent more than $1.6 million in an effort to unseat a justice who drew the ire of conservatives for past rulings on voter ID laws and tort reform. Andrew Demillo, The Seattle Times, "State supreme court battles mirror the fight over Kavanaugh," 2 Oct. 2018 That number is likely to jump in the wake of the Missouri jury’s decision, said Elizabeth Burch, a University of Georgia law professor who teaches about mass-tort law. Jef Feeley And Margaret Cronin Fisk, BostonGlobe.com, "Johnson & Johnson’s $4.69 billion talc verdict may open floodgates to more suits," 14 July 2018 Attorney Kimberly Jeselskis, who represents the four women, said a tort claim has been filed with the state of Indiana that is required before the state can be sued. Rick Callahan, The Seattle Times, "Indiana attorney general won’t be charged in alleged groping," 24 Oct. 2018 That amount is likely to get dramatically reduced because Ohio's tort reform laws limit punitive damages to twice the amount of compensatory damages. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Jury slaps Cleveland Clinic Foundation with $28 million judgment in age discrimination suit," 27 Apr. 2018 There are a lot of ways organizations can use bankruptcy to maneuver around the tort system. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Is the Sandy Hook massacre the real impetus behind the Remington Arms bankruptcy?," 27 Mar. 2018 The San Jacinto River Authority was denied motions to dismiss a mass tort lawsuit involving more than 100 Lake Houston area residents. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Lake Houston residents' flooding lawsuit against SJRA lands in appellate court," 2 Feb. 2018 The couple must first exhaust legal remedies through a tort claim with the Postal Service. Maria Cramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Facing off with the US Postal Service," 13 July 2018 Currently, his firm operates in five states and also handles mass torts nationwide. Ivana Hrynkiw, AL.com, "Alabama student takes senior pictures with attorney Alexander Shunnarah," 11 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of tort

1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tort

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

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Dictionary Entries near tort

torsion scale

torsk

torso

tort

torta

torte

torteau

Statistics for tort

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tort

The first known use of tort was in 1586

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More Definitions for tort

tort

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tort

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

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

History and Etymology for 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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More from Merriam-Webster on tort

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tort

Nglish: Translation of tort for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tort for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tort

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