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 show, which stars Sandra Oh (Eve) and Jodie Comer (Villanelle), follows a glamorous assassin and the MI5 agent after her/maybe in love with her. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Now 'Killing Eve' Fans Have Two Ways to Watch Season Two," 31 Jan. 2019 Only cult fans will remember this one: In the sequel to Machete, which starred Lindsay Lohan as a gun-slinging nun—seriously, Google it—Gaga played a shape-shifting assassin called Lady Chameleon. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "7 Times Lady Gaga Proved She Could Act Before A Star Is Born," 23 Jan. 2019 In this case, Bean will be playing a fellow assassin with a penchant for faking his own death. Nick Statt, The Verge, "How Hitman 2’s developers turned its gigantic levels into ever-evolving playgrounds," 18 Oct. 2018 Preacher and his gang end up in New Orleans for season 2, stalked by more Grail agents and a soul-less assassin dubbed the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish, Outlander). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Preacher ends third season with a pop, not a bang," 28 Aug. 2018 Fall out with some of your superfriends, go on the lam and live like a nomad with a deadly female assassin and a guy with a flight suit. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Infinity War': 10 burning questions we have about Marvel's next 'Avengers' (spoilers!)," 6 May 2018 So where does this leave our Captain-Queeg-commander-in-chief, surrounded by assassins, with the mole who ratted to The New York Times in that anonymous op-ed still on the loose? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: The Sound of Broomsticks Breaking," 16 Sep. 2018 And none of them are playing scientists, martial artists, assassins, or courtesans — the kinds of roles Asian and Asian-American actors are frequently reduced to playing. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians: 5 things to know about the effervescent rom-com," 10 Aug. 2018 The next day, Mayor Ferdinand Bote of northern General Tinio town was shot and killed in an SUV by motorcycle-riding assassins. Fox News, "Filipino vice mayor killed; 3rd such gun attack of the week," 7 July 2018

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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Statistics for assassin

Last Updated

26 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for assassin

The first known use of assassin was circa 1520

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More Definitions for assassin



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).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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