act of god

Cultural Dictionary

act of God definition


An event beyond human control — e.g., hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption (see volcano), etc. — for which there is no legal redress. The phrase is frequently used by insurance companies and lawyers.

American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

act of God definition


A natural catastrophe, e.g., a hurricane, an earthquake, or a volcanic eruption. (See volcano.)

Note: As a legal term relating to property damage, it appears in insurance contracts: “After the flood, Papovich was dismayed to discover that his house was not insured against acts of God.”
Note: In contracts dealing with the delivery of goods or services, the term is used to protect the parties from litigation over delays or failures in performance owing to circumstances beyond their control.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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