Terroir and terror

Though seldom used, the word terroir is sometimes confused with the word terror. Close in spelling, these two words are unrelated. We will examine the definitions of terroir and terror, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Terroir is the environment in which a crop is produced, and includes the terrain, the soil, the climate, the cultivation practices and other factors. Terroir may refer to the environment or the characteristics imparted to the crop because of this environment. Most often, terroir is used to describe the factors that go into producing wine, however, the terroir of many other crops have been studied, including coffee, agave, tea, etc. The word terroir is derived from the Old French word tieroir meaning land.

Terror is extreme fear, whether because of intimidation, the threat of violence, the threat of loss or of the dread of the unknown. Terror is derived from the word terreur, also an Old French word, meaning extreme fear.


The wine community, in general, agrees that terroir is a real — yet subjective — expression of the vine’s total environment and most pronounced when appreciated in quality wine production. (The Napa Valley Register)

And, of course, there is the opportunity to enjoy Italian gelato in its terroir. (Forbes Magazine)

The Moscow District Military Court on Thursday sentenced an English language teacher to five years in jail for plotting a terror attack in St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral, a TASS correspondent reported. (TASS)

An explosive terror attack using drones was only “a matter of time,” according to a leading drone researcher in the UK. (The Daily Express)
Amidst the not so terrifying terror of a big fish attempting to dine on an absolute pupu platter of people from various ethnic backgrounds, there are some attempts at humor in the script (This script took three writers to concoct?), but the laughs heard at the screening I attended were mostly of the derisive sort. (The Register-Guard)

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