Law Dictionary

in terrorem

adverb or adjective in ter·ror·em \ˌin-te-ˈrōr-əm, -em\

Legal Definition of in terrorem

  1. :  by way of threat or intimidation :  serving or intended to threaten or intimidate <overbroad covenants not to compete which have in terrorem effect on employees — J. D. Calamari and J. M. Perillo>

Additional Notes on in terrorem

In terrorem is most commonly used to describe a condition in a will that threatens an heir with forfeiture if he or she challenges the validity of the will.

Origin and Etymology of in terrorem

Latin, so as to produce terror


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