Meaning: someone who uses unauthorized violence and fear to achieve a political goal
Note: 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".
- 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.
The word "terrorist" shouldn't be used to describe
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