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Reign of Terror


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

  • n. The period (1793-1794) of the French Revolution during which thousands of people were executed.
  • n. A period of brutal suppression or intimidation by those in power.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See in Dictionary of Noted Names in Fiction.

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

  • n. any period of brutal suppression thought to resemble the Reign of Terror in France
  • n. the historic period (1793-94) during the French Revolution when thousands were executed


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was called the Reign of Terror when the only thing a new government in France knew how to say was, "Off with their heads!"

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  • In the span of about a year, from 1793 to 1794, thousands, including the queen, lost their heads to the guillotine in a period known as the Reign of Terror.

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  • Even the Reign of Terror was a much smaller thing than he makes it appear.

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  • The massacre of Saint Bartholomew or the religious wars were no more the work of kings than the Reign of Terror was the work of Robespierre, Danton, or Saint Just.

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  • We have already said that each of the prisons which had been crowded with victims by the Reign of Terror was a faithful reproduction of the aristocratic society of Paris, now decimated by death and by exile, but which was famous for its intrigues, its wit, its indiscretions, its luxury and its gallantries.

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  • We cannot dissociate these events, or disprove the contention that the Reign of Terror was the salvation of France.

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  • Drudgery staggered up to its King's Palace, and in wide expanse of sallow faces, squalor and winged raggedness, presented hieroglyphically its Petition of Grievances; and for answer got hanged on a 'new gallows forty feet high,' -- confesses mournfully that there is no period to be met with, in which the general Twenty-five Millions of France suffered less than in this period which they name Reign of Terror!

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  • England had a kind of Reign of Terror of its own; little thought of at the time or remembered since.

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  • But as the Reign of Terror gripped France, Hamilton's religious views took another profound turn.

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  • Eventually, Robespierre went too far; and the Reign of Terror ended with his arrest and execution.

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