Simple Definition of decapitate
: to cut off the head of (a person or animal)
Examples of decapitate in a sentence
<a particularly gruesome series of murders in which the victims were decapitated>
Origin and Etymology of decapitate
Late Latin decapitatus, past participle of decapitare, from Latin de- + capit-, caput head — more at head
First Known Use: circa 1611
DECAPITATE Defined for Kids
Word Root of decapitate
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.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up decapitate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).