: a surgical instrument that consists of a ring and handle with a knife blade which slides down the handle and across the ring and that is used for cutting out a protruding structure (as a tonsil) capable of being placed in the ring
Biographical Note for GUILLOTINE
Guil·lo·tin\gē-yȯ-taⁿ\ , Joseph–Ignace(1738–1814), French surgeon. Guillotin was a member of the National Assembly during the time of the French Revolution. In 1789 he proposed the passage of a law requiring that all death sentences be carried out by decapitation, a practice up to that time reserved for the nobility. At the time decapitation was perceived to be a humane method of execution, and its uniform application was intended as a statement of egalitarian ideals. Various decapitation devices had been in use for centuries, but an improvement was commissioned, and subsequently introduced in 1792. Gradually the device became known as the guillotine as it became associated with the man who had advocated it as a humane instrument of capital punishment. The surgical instrument known as the guillotine is so called because it features a similar sliding-blade action.
Instrument for inflicting capital punishment by decapitation. A minimal wooden structure, it supported a heavy blade that, when released, slid down in vertical guides to sever the victim's head. It was introduced in France in 1792 in the French Revolution, though similar devices had been used in Scotland, England, and other European countries, often for executing criminals of noble birth. The name derived from a French physician and member of the National Assembly, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (1738–1814), who was instrumental in passing a law requiring all sentences of death to be carried out by means of a machine, so that execution by decapitation would no longer be confined to nobles and executions would be as painless as possible. The last execution by guillotine in France took place in 1977.