verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt, dē-\

: to cut off the head of (a person or animal)


Full Definition of DECAPITATE

transitive verb
:  to cut off the head of :  behead
de·cap·i·ta·tion \-ˌka-pə-ˈtā-shən\ noun
de·cap·i·ta·tor \-ˈka-pə-ˌtā-tər\ noun

Examples of DECAPITATE

  1. <a particularly gruesome series of murders in which the victims were decapitated>


Late Latin decapitatus, past participle of decapitare, from Latin de- + capit-, caput head — more at head
First Known Use: circa 1611


Rhymes with DECAPITATE

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DECAPITATED Defined for Kids


verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt\

Definition of DECAPITATE for Kids

:  to cut off the head of :  behead


The Latin word caput, meaning head," gives us the root capit, which is sometimes shortened to capt. Words from the Latin caput have something to do with the head or a place where decisions are made. The capital of a state or country is the city where the government is and where decisions are made about laws. A captain is the person who heads a group and leads his members. To decapitate is to cut off someone's head.


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