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

According to Time, this was Maclean's eighth attempt at assassinating the Queen. Chanel Vargas, Town & Country, "15 Fascinating Facts You Didn't Know About Queen Victoria," 8 Jan. 2019 Israel assassinated Hamas leaders Ahmad Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi in 2004, and tried to kill another leader, Khaled Mashaal, in 1997. Aron Heller, The Seattle Times, "Israeli Cabinet minister: Gaza leader’s days are numbered," 21 Nov. 2018 But one of the players in the team’s cross hairs has direct knowledge of Keller’s participation years ago in an illicit operation in which a cartel boss was assassinated. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Drug Money All the Way Down," 22 Feb. 2019 Over a century after the Romanovs were assassinated by the Bolsheviks, the whereabouts of their jewelry remains an enduring mystery. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Inside the Enduring Mystery of What Happened to Russia's Imperial Jewelry," 1 Nov. 2018 On April 2, 1968, two days before King would be assassinated, girls cried at the sight of 16-year-old Larry Payne in his casket at Clayborn Temple. Kirsten West Savali, The Root, "Watch: Memphis Police Officer Guns Down 16-Year-Old #LarryPayne as Sanitation Strike Continues," 3 Apr. 2018 An important point of the book is that MLK was assassinated. Zito Madu, GQ, "Art in a World Shaped by Trayvon," 24 Apr. 2018 Black Brazilians have lost one of their biggest champions as beloved activist and politician, Marielle Franco, was assassinated Wednesday night after speaking at a Black women's empowerment event. Britni Danielle, Essence.com, "Marielle Franco, A Fearless Black Brazilian Politician And Anti-Police Violence Activist, Assassinated In Rio," 15 Mar. 2018 As part of his service, Marcello is ordered to assassinate an enemy — a man who happens to be his old university professor. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist still resonates today," 3 Dec. 2018

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

9 May 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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