behead

verb
be·head | \bi-ˈhed, bē-\
beheaded; beheading; beheads

Definition of behead 

transitive verb

: to cut off the head of : decapitate

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Synonyms for behead

Synonyms

decapitate, guillotine, head

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Examples of behead in a Sentence

Louis XVI was beheaded in 1793. Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded for plotting against Queen Elizabeth.

Recent Examples on the Web

As any hot-blooded Texan would, her husband promptly grabbed a shovel and beheaded the snake. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "Severed rattlesnake head bites man who decapitated it," 6 June 2018 Earlier research on her lineage appeared to show that one of Harry's ancestors, King Henry VIII, beheaded one of her ancestors, Lord Hussey, first Baron Hussey of Sleaford, in the 1500s. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Are Technically 17th Cousins," 30 Nov. 2017 This month, assailants set fire to a school in the Khogyani District of the province, and three caretakers there were beheaded. New York Times, "Suicide Bombing on Afghan Education Department Kills 12," 11 July 2018 The cell held more than 20 Western hostages in Syria and became known for its brutality, torturing its captives and beheading several American, British and Japanese journalists and aid workers and Syrian soldiers in 2014 and 2015. Sarah El Deeb And Andrea Rosa, chicagotribune.com, "Two British Islamic State members say hostage beheadings were a 'mistake'," 30 Mar. 2018 Haanstad also said the father of Dais' younger children told FBI agents that Dais showed her 5-year-old son beheading videos. John Diedrich, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Cudahy woman charged with promoting ISIS and suggesting attacks on festivals, churches held without bail," 15 June 2018 Police said attackers wielding machetes beheaded people, including two teen boys. Joe Sterling, CNN, "US Embassy warns of 'imminent attacks' in Mozambique," 9 June 2018 A day earlier, the Islamic State claimed a gruesome attack on a school in Nangahar, in which the assailants killed three night watchmen, beheading two of them, and setting fire to the school. Sayed Salahuddin, BostonGlobe.com, "Spate of attacks in eastern Afghanistan marks push by Islamic State militants," 11 July 2018 A day earlier, the Islamic State claimed a gruesome attack on a school in Nangahar, in which the assailants killed three night watchmen, beheading two of them, and setting fire to the school. Washington Post, "Spate of attacks in eastern Afghanistan marks push by Islamic State militants," 11 July 2018

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for behead

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for behead

The first known use of behead was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for behead

behead

verb

English Language Learners Definition of behead

: to cut off the head of (someone) especially as a punishment

behead

verb
be·head | \bi-ˈhed \
beheaded; beheading

Kids Definition of behead

: to cut off the head of

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Comments on behead

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