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terrorist

[ter-er-ist] /ˈtɛr ər ɪst/
noun
1.
a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism.
2.
a person who terrorizes or frightens others.
3.
(formerly) a member of a political group in Russia aiming at the demoralization of the government by terror.
4.
an agent or partisan of the revolutionary tribunal during the Reign of Terror in France.
adjective
5.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of terrorism or terrorists:
terrorist tactics.
Origin
1785-1795
1785-95; terror + -ist; compare French terroriste
Related forms
terroristic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for terrorists
  • He advocated the use of torture to get information from terrorists.
  • This is a theoretical risk, and such weapons have not been used by terrorists.
British Dictionary definitions for terrorists

terrorist

/ˈtɛrərɪst/
noun
1.
  1. a person who employs terror or terrorism, esp as a political weapon
  2. (as modifier): terrorist tactics
Derived Forms
terroristic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for terrorists

terrorist

n.

in the modern sense, 1944, especially in reference to Jewish tactics against the British in Palestine -- earlier it was used of extremist revolutionaries in Russia (1866); and Jacobins during the French Revolution (1795) -- from French terroriste; see terror + -ist (also cf. terrorism). The tendency of one party's terrorist to be another's guerilla or freedom fighter was noted in reference to the British action in Cyprus (1956) and the war in Rhodesia (1973). The word terrorist has been applied, at least retroactively, to the Maquis resistance in occupied France in World War II (e.g. in the "Spectator," Oct. 20, 1979).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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