electric chair


Definition of electric chair

1 : a chair used in legal electrocution
2 : the penalty of death by electrocution

Examples of electric chair in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Dunham said that while public opinion on execution varies from state to state, Americans view methods like a firing squad or electric chair as far crueler than lethal injection. Cassidy Mcdonald, CBS News, "South Carolina bill would add firing squad and electric chair as execution options," 4 Mar. 2021 Under South Carolina’s current law, death row inmates choose between lethal injections and the electric chair. Washington Post, "South Carolina could force death row inmates to choose between electric chair, firing squad," 3 Mar. 2021 Hurst was convicted of killing a city police officer in 1967 and originally sentenced to death in the electric chair. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Chicago prosecutor drops opposition to parole for convicted cop killer," 25 Feb. 2021 Snook was executed, via the electric chair, in 1930. Sean Gregory, Time, "Why Olympic Swimmer Klete Keller, Arrested for Allegedly Invading the Capitol, Probably Won't Lose His Olympic Medals," 14 Jan. 2021 Since the introduction of the electric chair, three other death row inmates in the U.S. survived the first attempts to execute them after the process began. CBS News, "Inmate who survived execution attempt dies; COVID suspected," 30 Dec. 2020 Louisiana successfully executed the 18-year-old Francis by electric chair on May 9, 1947. CBS News, "Inmate who survived execution attempt dies; COVID suspected," 30 Dec. 2020 Willie Francis, 17, was supposed to be put to death in Louisiana on May 3, 1946 but the electric chair was improperly set up, sending painful — but not fatal — currents through this body. NBC News, "Ohio inmate who survived execution attempt dies in prison of probable Covid-19," 30 Dec. 2020 Since the introduction of the electric chair in the 1880s, only three death row inmates in the United States have survived first attempts of execution, the Associated Press reported. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Death row inmate who survived lethal injection dies after contracting COVID-19," 29 Dec. 2020

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

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for electric chair Time Traveler

The first known use of electric chair was in 1883

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Statistics for electric chair

Last Updated

8 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Electric chair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electric%20chair. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for electric chair

electric chair


English Language Learners Definition of electric chair

: a special chair in which a criminal who has been sentenced to death is killed by using a strong electric current

electric chair

elec·​tric chair

Legal Definition of electric chair

1 : a chair used in performing a legal electrocution
2 : the penalty of death by electrocution

More from Merriam-Webster on electric chair

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electric chair

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