Trend Watch


The word's meaning was discussed after the tragic shooting ...


Lookups spiked on July 20, 2012.


The tragic shooting at a movie theater in Colorado led to discussions about what constitutes terrorism. For example, an article in Salon argued that the shooting is "yet another jarring reminder that terrorism is everywhere."

Terrorism refers to "violent or destructive acts committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands." It was widely reported that the Colorado crime had "no terrorism link" and that authorities believe that the shooter acted alone.

Terrorism has its origins in political violence: it entered English with descriptions of the "Reign of Terror" during the French Revolution.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!