This page is about the dysphemism terrorist


someone who uses unauthorized violence and fear to achieve a political goal

For example

  • They were dangerous terrorists, so we had to kill them!

  • They weren't "terrorists". All they did was start anti-government websites and organize protests.

Mostly used to describe people who carry out terrorist attacks, but also used by oppressive governments to demonize people who aren't really terrorists. They can be members of a legitimate armed resistance movement who fight against the military forces of an oppressive government, members of a non-violent resistance movement, or members of a protest movement. Other words used in this way include "insurgent", "subversive", "dissident" and "militant".

Quick Quiz

The word "terrorist" shouldn't be used to describe

a. non-state fighters who kill civilians

b. people who carry out terrorist attacks

c. organizers of a protest movement

Contributor: Matt Errey