- a wrongful act, not including a breach of contract or trust, that results in injury to another’s person, property, reputation, or the like, and for which the injured party is entitled to compensation.
- law a civil wrong arising from an act or failure to act, independently of any contract, for which an action for personal injury or property damages may be brought
mid-13c., “injury, wrong,” from Old French tort (11c.), from Medieval Latin tortum “injustice,” noun use of neuter of tortus “wrung, twisted,” past participle of Latin torquere “turn, turn awry, twist, wring, distort” (see thwart). Legal sense of “breach of a duty, whereby someone acquires a right of action for damages” is first recorded 1580s.