chilling effect

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

chilling effect (plural chilling effects)

  1. (law) A discouraging effect, especially on certain forms of officially legal speech.
    The hate crimes bill would allow recent racist statements by a suspect to be used as evidence that a crime was racially motivated; some legislators were concerned that this provision could have an undue chilling effect on speech that could be construed as racist.

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