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

Hays was sentenced to death and his 1997 execution in Alabama's electric chair was the first in the state since 1913 for a white-on-black crime. Leada Gore, AL.com, "'Last lynching in America' shocked Mobile in 1981, bankrupted the KKK," 26 Apr. 2018 The state’s last execution took place in 1997, using the electric chair. Washington Post, "Nebraska sets execution date for longest-serving inmate," 5 July 2018 The last scene still provokes me: the character sits at the end of the stage, hair shaved off, strapped down to the electric chair crying out to anyone to help her. Kt Hawbaker, Chicago Reader, "What were you watching, reading, or listening to when you first came out?," 15 June 2018 Neelley originally had been sentenced to the electric chair for the slaying of 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican, but had her death sentence commuted, setting off a battle over her possible parole eligibility. Kim Chandler, Fox News, "No parole for woman in Georgia teen's slaying in Alabama," 23 May 2018 These retirees are reshaping local economies, boosting everything from tax revenues to restaurant receipts to sales of electric chair lifts for the elderly. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Forget Florida: More Northern Retirees Head to Appalachia," 15 May 2018 Some priests and nuns at the Catholic schools were involved in the most depraved abuses, including at an Ontario school where students were shocked on a homemade electric chair. Ian Austen And Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "A Pope Given to Apologies Has Nothing for Indigenous Canada," 23 Apr. 2018 The push for change comes because lethal injection, introduced 40 years ago as more efficient and humane than the electric chair or gas chamber, has not met that promise. New York Times, BostonGlobe.com, "States turn to an unproven method of execution: nitrogen gas," 8 May 2018 Cohn rants at one point, about having privately lobbied the judge Irving Kaufman to send Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Original Donald Trump," 29 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for electric chair

The first known use of electric chair was in 1883

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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

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about electric chair

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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