noun \ˈmər-dər\

: the crime of deliberately killing a person

: something that is very difficult or unpleasant

Full Definition of MURDER

:  the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought
a :  something very difficult or dangerous <the traffic was murder>
b :  something outrageous or blameworthy <getting away with murder>

Examples of MURDER

  1. She was accused of murder.
  2. the mass murder of civilians in wartime
  3. a string of unsolved murders
  4. Traffic is murder this time of day.

Origin of MURDER

partly from Middle English murther, from Old English morthor; partly from Middle English murdre, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English morthor; akin to Old High German mord murder, Latin mort-, mors death, mori to die, mortuus dead, Greek brotos mortal
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi

Rhymes with MURDER



: to kill (a person) in a deliberate and unlawful way : to commit the murder of (someone)

: to spoil or ruin (something) : to perform (something) very badly

: to defeat (an opponent) very badly

mur·deredmur·der·ing \ˈmər-d(ə-)riŋ\

Full Definition of MURDER

transitive verb
:  to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice
:  to slaughter wantonly :  slay
a :  to put an end to
b :  tease, torment
c :  mutilate, mangle <murders French>
d :  to defeat badly
intransitive verb
:  to commit murder

Examples of MURDER

  1. He was arrested and accused of murdering his wife.
  2. His wife was found murdered.
  3. a dictator who is responsible for murdering thousands of innocent people
  4. The band murdered that song.

First Known Use of MURDER

13th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: murderee
Previous Word in the Dictionary: muramic acid
All Words Near: murder

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up murder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More