assassinate

verb
as·​sas·​si·​nate | \ ə-ˈsa-sə-ˌnāt How to pronounce assassinate (audio) \
assassinated; assassinating

Definition of assassinate

transitive verb

1 : to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons a plot to assassinate the governor
2 : to injure or destroy unexpectedly and treacherously assassinate a man's character

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Other Words from assassinate

assassinator \ -​ˈsa-​sə-​ˌnā-​tər How to pronounce assassinator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for assassinate

Synonyms

bump off, croak [slang], dispatch, do in, execute, get, ice [slang], knock off, liquidate, murder, neutralize, off [slang], put away, rub out, slay, snuff, take out, terminate, whack [slang]

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Choose the Right Synonym for assassinate

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

Examples of assassinate in a Sentence

They discovered a secret plot to assassinate the governor. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Recent Examples on the Web

But when Kennedy was assassinated a year later, his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, hand-picked a different African-American pilot (Robert Henry Lawrence, Jr.) to become the first black astronaut. John Wenzel, The Denver Post, "A Denver sculptor was the first black man trained as an astronaut ahead of Apollo 11, but he never made it to space," 5 July 2019 The father and daughter were buried in a single plot in an area of the cemetery named after Oscar Romero, the Salvadoran bishop who spoke on behalf of the poor and was assassinated in the 1980, as the country’s civil war raged. Alexander Renderos And Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "Drowned father and daughter mourned at El Salvador cemetery," 1 July 2019 Texas used to be strongly Democratic and produced Lyndon B. Johnson, who became president after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The Economist, "California and Texas have different visions for America’s future," 22 June 2019 In 2016 this was brought to world attention when Berta Caceres, a renowned indigenous rights and environmental activist, and winner of the Goldman environmental prize, was assassinated. Mark Weisbrot, The New Republic, "Tariffs Are a Bad Response to an Imaginary Border Crisis," 5 June 2019 Indian history—the Khalistan movement On Oct. 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 Milk was no stranger to death threats and acknowledged there was a possibility he would be assassinated. Erika Ryan, CNN, "Courage and sacrifice: 6 activists behind LGBTQ progress," 26 June 2019 While the movie was being shot in Mexico, Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, and riots had broken out from Detroit to New Jersey. J.b., The Economist, "Why “The Wild Bunch” ranks among the most influential Westerns," 18 June 2019 In 1978, pioneering gay politician Harvey Milk was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. Washington Post, "50 years after Stonewall, LGBT rights are a work in progress," 17 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'assassinate.' 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 assassinate

1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for assassinate

see assassin

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Statistics for assassinate

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for assassinate

The first known use of assassinate was in 1600

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More Definitions for assassinate

assassinate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of assassinate

: to kill (someone, such as a famous or important person) usually for political reasons

assassinate

verb
as·​sas·​si·​nate | \ ə-ˈsa-sə-ˌnāt\
assassinated; assassinating

Kids Definition of assassinate

: to murder a usually important person by a surprise or secret attack

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Comments on assassinate

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