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 The final five episodes have featured the perspectives of potential Ghost assassins. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "50 Cent on 'Power,' sequels and how Ghost's fate reflects his reality: 'I've been shot'," 5 Feb. 2020 This was closer to the surface of Smith's previous movie Gemini Man, where his super-assassin character fights off his own super-strong clone. Jesse Hassenger, TheWeek, "The not-so-parallel careers of Robert Downey Jr. and Will Smith," 17 Jan. 2020 The longtime Dallas lawman who was captured in one of history’s most iconic photographs escorting President John F. Kennedy’s assassin as he was fatally shot. Aug. 29. Bernard Mcghee, Twin Cities, "Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2019," 29 Dec. 2019 The longtime Dallas lawman who was captured in one of history’s most iconic photographs escorting President John F. Kennedy’s assassin as he was fatally shot. Aug. 29. Bernard Mcghee, The Denver Post, "Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2019," 16 Dec. 2019 Playing the role of three-point assassin is the game of Mathis and Jones. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle adds a high-percentage three-pointer to his dazzling all-around game," 13 Dec. 2019 Her co-star Jodie Comer, who took the Emmy in September, was nominated for her role as a multilingual, chillingly off-kilter assassin in the BBC America drama. Jocelyn Noveck,, "Broadcast TV shut out of Globe nods, Netflix edges HBO," 9 Dec. 2019 Blake Lively is going into assassin mode with her new movie, The Rhythm Section. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Blake Lively Has So Many Hair Changes in the Trailer for Her New Movie, The Rhythm Section," 19 Sep. 2019 Instead of becoming thugs, smugglers or assassins, hundreds of children and young adults have been performing throughout Mexico, the U.S. and beyond, winning accolades for their music. Alfredo Corchado, Dallas News, "Choirs unite in song to bring North Texas and the borderlands closer together," 17 Jan. 2020

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

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Assassin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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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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