Law Dictionary

Terry stop

noun Ter·ry stop \ˈter-ē-\

Legal Definition of Terry stop

  1. :  a stop and limited search of a person for weapons justified by a police officer's reasonable conclusion that a crime is being or about to be committed by a person who may be armed and whose responses to questioning do not dispel the officer's fear of danger to the officer or to others — compare reasonable suspicion

Origin and Etymology of terry stop

from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), case in which the right of police to stop and question a suspect was first discussed

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a rounded knoll or a ridge of ice

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