Has the word terrorist evolved in meaning or context in recent times?
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Terrorism is the deliberate use of civilian casualties to achieve a political/religious goal. In modern times, the western media (some more than others) have used terrorism to describe any attack against Western interests, be they civilian or military. The Russians have been doing this a lot longer.
Personally, I don't think the word has changed its meaning. Rather, I'd say it has been deliberately misused to paint a skewed picture of a conflict. Unfortunately, this tends to obscure the motivations of the actors. An actor who wishes to attain a certain goal by killing 100 civilians is different than one who wishes to attain a goal in spite of killing 100 civilians. In either case, it would be cold comfort to the 100 civilians.
I'll avoid any examples to avoid being downvoted into oblivion.
The word terrorism actually came from round about 1785–95; terror + -ism.
However, terrorism then meant the practice of using intimidation for producing submission of another person.
The new meaning of terrorism only happened recently, with the rise of "terrorism" for political purposes, not against any one individual.
This is additinal information: