as·​sas·​sin | \ ə-ˈsa-sᵊn How to pronounce assassin (audio) \

Definition of assassin

1 capitalized : a member of a Shia Muslim sect who at the time of the Crusades was sent out on a suicidal mission to murder prominent enemies
2 : a person who commits murder especially : one who murders a politically important person either for money or from fanatical adherence to a cause

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Examples of assassin in a Sentence

John Wilkes Booth was the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. shot down by an unknown assassin
Recent Examples on the Web Expect him to take home the trophy for his brilliant work as an assassin turned actor. Kristen Baldwin,, "2020 Golden Globe winner predictions: EW picks who should and who will win," 2 Jan. 2020 Geralt is a witcher (an assassin with magical abilities) who is tasked with killing monsters that torment the inhabitants of The Continent. Sam Gillette,, "The Witcher Author on New Netflix Show Starring Henry Cavill: I Want to 'Leave the Viewers Hot'," 20 Dec. 2019 Favreau’s biggest inspiration for The Mandalorian appears to be Lone Wolf and Cub, a Japanese manga series about an assassin and his three-year-old son seeking revenge during the days of the Tokugawa Shogunate. David Sims, The Atlantic, "How The Mandalorian Can Work for Disney+," 18 Nov. 2019 On a quiet stretch of the road, an assassin pulled up and emptied three rounds into Watandost through the car window., "Madina was his distraction from the sorrow weighing down the family.," 3 Nov. 2019 The Dragon Prince: Season 3 (Netflix Family) The show about princes and an elven assassin continues as Callum and Rayla cross into the magical realm of Xadia. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "New on Netflix for November 2019: 'The King,' 'The Crown' and 'The Irishman'," 23 Oct. 2019 The Ang Lee film about an assassin on the run from a younger version of himself opened in third place with $20.5 million. Lindsey Bahr, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Joker’ tops box office again beats ‘Addams Family’," 13 Oct. 2019 Gemini Man Ang Lee directs Will Smith in this action-thriller about an elite assassin who faces off against his younger doppelgänger. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, "Movies opening in L.A. this week: A ‘Breaking Bad’ movie and more," 5 Oct. 2019 Anna R Anna has a mesmerizing beauty but beneath the surface lies an assassin who can harness her cunning mind and incredible skills to eliminate a target quickly. Guy Hanford, Ramona Sentinel, "Flickers: ‘Downton Abbey’ leads in the box office," 27 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assassin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of assassin

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assassin

Medieval Latin assassinus, from Arabic ḥashshāshīn, plural of ḥashshāsh worthless person, literally, hashish user, from hashīsh hashish

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Time Traveler for assassin

Time Traveler

The first known use of assassin was circa 1520

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Statistics for assassin

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assassin.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for assassin


How to pronounce assassin (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of assassin

: a person who kills someone (such as a famous or important person) usually for political reasons or for money : a person who assassinates someone


as·​sas·​sin | \ ə-ˈsa-ˌsᵊn How to pronounce assassin (audio) \

Kids Definition of assassin

: someone who kills another person usually for pay or from loyalty to a cause

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Comments on assassin

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


dull or mediocre

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