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 Randy, with his infectious grin, twinkling eyes, warm handshake, and rote recitation of Japanese garden symbology, was not condemned for a string of killings but rather for leading a death squad one summer night in 1987. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 12 Mar. 2024 This included the eastern areas of prewar Poland annexed by Moscow under the terms of 1939’s Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, although Hitler’s death squads also roamed well to the west of the former dividing line between the Nazis and their Soviet accomplices. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 7 Jan. 2024 Further revelations that the US had supplied Nicaraguan death squads with psychological warfare guides would not help that public relations problem. Justin Ling, WIRED, 1 Feb. 2024 Later, these tractors would be used to tear down the fence and open the way for Hamas’s death squads. Assaf Orion, Foreign Affairs, 3 Nov. 2023 The second insight is that the horrific massacre of at least 1,200 Israelis by Hamas death squads marked a catastrophic collapse of Israel’s existing security strategy. Assaf Orion, Foreign Affairs, 3 Nov. 2023 Babi Yar was the site in Kyiv, Ukraine, where special Nazi death squads fatally shot nearly 34,000 Jews in just a couple of days in September 1941. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 17 Oct. 2023 At the core of Manson’s death squads are two acolytes, Charles ‘Tex’ Watson and Susan ‘Sadie’ Atkins, both of whom drive the slaughter more aggressively than the other, haphazard squad members. Matt Thompson, Spin, 10 Sep. 2023 The Pinochet government was notorious for assembling death squads that murdered their leftist enemies. Livia Albeck-Ripka, New York Times, 8 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'death squad.' 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

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of death squad was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near death squad

Cite this Entry

“Death squad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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