An event beyond human control — e.g., hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption (seevolcano), etc. — for which there is no legal redress. The phrase is frequently used by insurance companies and lawyers.
An unforeseen and uncontrollable natural event, such as a hurricane, fire, or flood. For example, The publisher shall publish the work within twelve months except in case of delay caused by acts of God such as fires or floods or other circumstances beyond its control. It most often appears in legal contracts, where it is used to indemnify one party against a disaster that prevents it from carrying out the contract's terms. [Mid-1800s]