assassination

noun

as·​sas·​si·​na·​tion ə-ˌsa-sə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce assassination (audio)
plural assassinations
1
: murder by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons : the act or an instance of assassinating someone (such as a prominent political leader)
the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
an assassination attempt
In medieval days, assassination by poisoning was common enough to alarm many a king, and protection was sought in the form of prayers, food tasters and science.The New York Times
2
: treacherous destruction of a person's reputation
character assassination

Examples of assassination in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Six months later, after the assassination of Sen. Bobby Kennedy — who was campaigning for the Democratic nomination — Johnson’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey, won the Democratic nomination at the convention in Chicago. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 3 July 2024 Hoods worn by prisoners who were hanged for complicity in Lincoln’s assassination. George F. Will, Washington Post, 3 July 2024 Well, that’s what DeLaria rather provocatively called on Biden to do and likened the assassination to preemptively killing Adolf Hitler before World War II. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 July 2024 During oral arguments in April, Sauer suggested presidents could be immune from prosecution for ordering the assassination of political rivals. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for assassination 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assassination.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of assassination was in 1610

Dictionary Entries Near assassination

Cite this Entry

“Assassination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assassination. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!