from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The use of violence or the threat of violence, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political goals.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Resort to terrorizing methods as a means of coercion, or the state of fear and submission produced by the prevalence of such methods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation.
  • noun The practise of coercing governments to accede to political demands by committing violence on civilian targets; any similar use of violence to achieve goals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The deliberate commission of an act of violence to create an emotional response through the suffering of the victims in the furtherance of a political or social agenda.
  • noun Violence against civilians to achieve military or political objectives.
  • noun A psychological strategy of war for gaining political or religious ends by deliberately creating a climate of fear among the population of a state.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

terror +‎ -ism


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word terrorism.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.