decapitate

play
verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt, dē-\

Definition of decapitate

decapitated

decapitating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cut off the head of :  behead

decapitation

play \-ˌka-pə-ˈtā-shən\ noun

decapitator

play \-ˈka-pə-ˌtā-tər\ noun

Examples of decapitate in a sentence

  1. <a particularly gruesome series of murders in which the victims were decapitated>

Did You Know?

Decapitation is a quick and fairly painless way to go, so it was once considered suitable only for nobles like Sir Walter Raleigh, Mary Queen of Scots, and two of Henry VIII's unfortunate wives. The invention of the guillotine in the 18th century was meant to make execution swifter and more painless than hanging or a badly aimed blow by the executioner's sword.

Origin and Etymology of decapitate

Late Latin decapitatus, past participle of decapitare, from Latin de- + capit-, caput head — more at head


First Known Use: circa 1611


DECAPITATE Defined for English Language Learners

decapitate

play
verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt, dē-\

Definition of decapitate for English Language Learners

  • : to cut off the head of (a person or animal)


DECAPITATE Defined for Kids

decapitate

play
verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt\

Definition of decapitate for Students

decapitated

decapitating

  1. :  to cut off the head of :  behead

Word Root of decapitate

The Latin word caput, meaning “head," gives us the root capit, which is sometimes shortened to capt. Words from the Latin caput have something to do with the head or a place where decisions are made. The capital of a state or country is the city where the government is and where decisions are made about laws. A captain is the person who heads a group and leads his members. To decapitate is to cut off someone's head.


Medical Dictionary

1

decapitate

play
transitive verb de·cap·i·tate \di-ˈkap-ə-ˌtāt\

Medical Definition of decapitate

decapitated

;

decapitating

  1. :  to cut off the head of

decapitation

\-ˌkap-ə-ˈtā-shən\play noun

2

decapitate

play play
adjective de·cap·i·tate \-ə-ˌtāt, -ət-ət\

Medical Definition of decapitate

  1. :  relating to or being a decapitated experimental animal



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up decapitate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an alert or lookout

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ