Tortious Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Tortious, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Tortious?

A doing or an act which is a tort

History and Meaning of Tortious

The term "tortious" comes from the word "tort," which refers to a civil wrong that causes harm to another person or their property. When an individual or entity commits a tort, they are engaging in behavior that is considered to be outside the bounds of lawful conduct. A tortious act can take the form of intentional or reckless behavior, or it can be the result of negligence or carelessness.

Examples of Tortious

Here are a few examples of how the term "tortious" might be used in different contexts:

  • If a driver is intoxicated and causes a car accident that results in injuries to another person, they could be held liable for tortious conduct.
  • If a business knowingly sells a defective product that causes harm to consumers, they could be held liable for tortious conduct.
  • If an individual spreads lies about another person that damages their reputation, they could be sued for tortious conduct.

Legal Terms Similar to Tortious

Here are a few related terms that are commonly used in the legal field:

  • Negligence: Conduct that falls below the level of care that is required to fulfill a duty of care owed to another person or entity.
  • Intentional tort: A civil wrong that is committed with the purpose of causing harm to another person or their property.
  • Strict liability: A legal doctrine that holds individuals or entities responsible for harm caused by their products or activities, regardless of whether they were negligent or intended to cause harm.
  • Breach of contract: A failure to uphold the terms of a legally-binding agreement between two or more parties.