The word terrorism is notoriously hard to define, for reasons which will become clear in a few minutes.
The term "terrorism" comes from Latin terrere, "to frighten." A dictionary definition is:
"In 1985, when I was the Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism, they asked us... to come up with a definition of terrorism that could be used throughout the government. We produced about six, and each and every case, they were rejected, because careful reading would indicate that our own country had been involved in some of those activities. […] After the task force concluded its work, Congress got into it, and you can Google into U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2331, and read the US definition of terrorism. And one of them in here says — one of the terms, 'international terrorism,' means 'activities that,' I quote, 'appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.' […] Yes, well, certainly, you can think of a number of countries that have been involved in such activities. Ours is one of them. Israel is another. And so, the terrorist, of course, is in the eye of the beholder."
For instance, in 2000 Hans Von Sponeck, the head UNICEF official in Iraq from 1998 to 2000, placed the death toll from the 1990s US-led Iraq sanctions at 1.26 million, including 500,000 children under the age of five.
Imagine how hard it would be for Tony Soprano to create universal and objective moral definitions condemning racketeering, blackmail, extortion and intimidation that did not include his own activities...