Terror, from French terreur, from Latin terror meaning "great fear", a noun derived from the Latin verb terrere meaning "to frighten", is a policy of political repression and violence intended to subdue political opposition. The term was first used for the Reign of Terror imposed by the Jacobins during the French Revolution. Modern instances of terror include red terror or white terror.
Before the advent of modern terrorism, the term "terrorism" in the English language was sometimes used interchangeable with terror. The modern definition of terrorism refers to criminal or illegal acts of violence at randomly chosen targets, in an effort to raise fear. It is practiced by extremist groups with a limited political base or parties on the weaker side in asymmetric warfare. Terror on the other hand is practiced by governments and law enforcement officials, usually within the legal framework of the state.
Famous quotes containing the word terror:
“Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say death;
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death. Do not say banishment!”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)