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noun mur·der \ˈmər-dər\

Simple Definition of murder

  • : the crime of deliberately killing a person

  • : something that is very difficult or unpleasant

Full Definition of murder

  1. 1 :  the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought

  2. 2 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

Rhymes with murder



verb mur·der

Simple Definition of 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

Full Definition of murder

mur·deredmur·der·ing play \ˈmər-d(ə-)riŋ\

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice

  3. 2 :  to slaughter wantonly :  slay

  4. 3 a :  to put an end to b :  tease, torment c :  mutilate, mangle <murders French> d :  to defeat badly

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  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.

13th Century

First Known Use of murder

13th century

Synonym Discussion of murder

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner <killed in an accident> <frost killed the plants>. slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive <slew thousands of the Philistines>. murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility <convicted of murdering a rival>. assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives <terrorists assassinated the Senator>. dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death <dispatched the sentry with one bullet>. execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty <executed by lethal gas>.

MURDER Defined for Kids



noun mur·der \ˈmər-dər\

Definition of murder

  1. :  the intentional and unlawful killing of a human being



verb mur·der

Definition of murder


  1. 1 :  to kill (someone) intentionally and unlawfully

  2. 2 :  to spoil or ruin by performing or using badly <murder a song>

mur·der·er noun

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February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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