Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. Violence against civilians to achieve military or political objectives.
  • n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of terrorizing, or state of being terrorized; a mode of government by terror or intimidation.
  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

  • n. 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

Etymologies

terror +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)

Examples

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