decapitate

verb
de·​cap·​i·​tate | \ di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt How to pronounce decapitate (audio) , dē-\
decapitated; decapitating

Definition of decapitate

transitive verb

: to cut off the head of : behead

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Other Words from decapitate

decapitation \ di-​ˌka-​pə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce decapitation (audio) , dē-​ \ noun
decapitator \ di-​ˈka-​pə-​ˌtā-​tər How to pronounce decapitator (audio) , dē-​ \ noun

Synonyms for decapitate

Synonyms

behead, guillotine, head

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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.

Examples of decapitate in a Sentence

a particularly gruesome series of murders in which the victims were decapitated

Recent Examples on the Web

Afterward, Cromwell’s corpse was hung from the gallows and decapitated at sunset. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Artifacts from the Final Battle of the English Civil War Uncovered During Road Project," 5 Sep. 2019 Adelita gets her revenge by decapitating Devante, and Miguel’s mother, Dita (Ada Maris), is heartbroken by the death of her longtime friend. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Everything to remember from Mayans M.C. before its season 2 premiere," 3 Sep. 2019 Similar incidents have long turned up in Europe, where there are many accounts of corpses being dug up, burned, rearranged, decapitated or having stakes driven through them. Author: Michael E. Ruane, Anchorage Daily News, "Remains of an American ‘vampire’ were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life.," 1 Aug. 2019 Human figures, both abstract and precise and, in one case, decapitated. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "By peeing in a bottle and snacking one-handed, this teenage artist drew in a continuous line for 24 hours," 10 Sep. 2019 Alex Bregman nearly decapitated the youngster with a tattooed, two-run single right back up the middle during the second. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Framber Valdez fumbles in Astros' loss to Angels," 16 July 2019 Similar incidents have long turned up in Europe, where there are many accounts of corpses being dug up, burned, rearranged, decapitated or having stakes driven through them. Author: Michael E. Ruane, Anchorage Daily News, "Remains of an American ‘vampire’ were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life.," 1 Aug. 2019 Similar incidents have long turned up in Europe, where there are many accounts of corpses being dug up, burned, rearranged, decapitated or having stakes driven through them. Michael E. Ruane, courant.com, "A ‘vampire’s’ remains were found about 30 years ago in Connecticut. Now DNA is giving him new life.," 31 July 2019 Similar incidents have long turned up in Europe, where there are many accounts of corpses being dug up, burned, rearranged, decapitated or having stakes driven through them. oregonlive.com, "A ‘vampire’s’ remains were found about 30 years ago. Now DNA is giving him new life.," 31 July 2019

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

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for decapitate

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

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Dictionary Entries near decapitate

decantate

decanter

decap

decapitate

decapod

Decapoda

decapodiform

Statistics for decapitate

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decapitate

The first known use of decapitate was circa 1611

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More Definitions for decapitate

decapitate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decapitate

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

decapitate

verb
de·​cap·​i·​tate | \ di-ˈka-pə-ˌtāt How to pronounce decapitate (audio) \
decapitated; decapitating

Kids Definition of decapitate

: to cut off the head of : behead

decapitate

transitive verb
de·​cap·​i·​tate | \ di-ˈkap-ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce decapitate (audio) \
decapitated; decapitating

Medical Definition of decapitate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cut off the head of

Other Words from decapitate

decapitation \ -​ˌkap-​ə-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce decapitation (audio) \ noun

decapitate

adjective
de·​cap·​i·​tate | \ -ə-ˌtāt How to pronounce decapitate (audio) , -ət-ət How to pronounce decapitate (audio) \

Medical Definition of decapitate (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to or being a decapitated experimental animal

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Comments on decapitate

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