Law Dictionary

in terrorem

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

legal Definition of in terrorem

: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
Note: 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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