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terry stop n
[from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), case in which the right of police to stop and question a suspect was first discussed]
: a stop and limited search of a person for weapons justified by a police officer's reasonable conclusion that a crime is being or about to be committed by a person who may be armed and whose responses to questioning do not dispel the officer's fear of danger to the officer or to others compare reasonable suspicion
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.