death squad


Definition of death squad

: any of various extremist groups whose members kill suspected political adversaries and criminals

Examples of death squad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

His death squad was accused of gunning down dozens of migrants trying to sail to Europe, according to a survivor of the massacre. New York Times, "A Beauty Queen Accuses Former Gambian President of Rape: ‘I Literally Stumbled Out of There’," 25 June 2019 In the mid-1980s, Spain's security apparatus set up death squads, responsible for dozens of extrajudicial assassinations against ETA suspects. James Badcock,, "Spain vows to continue investigations into ETA despite Basque militant group's dissolution," 2 May 2018 This office recently reported on death squads in Venezuela, which are part of the government’s strategy: The Maduro government uses these squads to silence — to kill — political opponents, who are made to be seen to have resisted arrest. Nr Editors, National Review, "The Week," 11 July 2019 In El Salvador, the U.S. provided funds, training and support to governments and military forces linked to death squads that murdered tens of thousands of civilians from 1978 to 1992. Mark Weisbrot, The New Republic, "Tariffs Are a Bad Response to an Imaginary Border Crisis," 5 June 2019 Wellington families now spend weekend afternoons acting as rodent death squads, setting and clearing rat traps. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 A decade later Santiago Uribe is now on trial for leading a death squad known as the 12 Apostles. Washington Post, "Ex-rebel looks to defy odds in Colombia presidential race," 16 June 2018 But Jünger’s colleagues at the Majestic also included Werner Best, the Gestapo officer who had initiated a registry of German Jews and was to organize Einsatzgruppen death squads in eastern Europe. Dominic Green, WSJ, "‘A German Officer in Occupied Paris’ Review: A Very Refined Occupation," 15 Feb. 2019 Founded by a family whose members once belonged to death squads that roamed this banana-growing region, the Clan has units in several regions and hundreds of men, many armed with assault rifles and land mines. Juan Forero, WSJ, "Where Colombian Rebels Once Ruled, Drug Gangs Now Fight for Control," 16 July 2018

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

1873, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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The first known use of death squad was in 1873

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death squad


English Language Learners Definition of death squad

: a group of people who kill people who oppose a particular ruler or political group

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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