electrocute

verb
elec·​tro·​cute | \i-ˈlek-trə-ˌkyüt \
electrocuted; electrocuting

Definition of electrocute 

transitive verb

1 : to kill or severely injure by electric shock Because of flawed electrical work by contractors, the bulletin stated, soldiers at U.S. bases in Iraq had received severe electrical shocks, and some had even been electrocuted.— James Risen But if a power outage occurs, the PV [photovoltaic] system has to shut down or it could electrocute utility workers who think they're working on dead lines.Popular Science He was working on Pier 38 on the West Side of Manhattan when he was accidently electrocuted by a high-voltage wire. He suffered second- and third-degree burns and had to undergo painful skin grafts.— Robert I. Friedman

2 : to execute (a criminal) by electricity Two of the big fish, Emanuel (Mendy) Weiss and Louis Capone, ultimately were convicted and electrocuted with the boss himself …— Scott Christianson

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Other Words from electrocute

electrocution \ i-​ˌlek-​trə-​ˈkyü-​shən \ noun
Last year, we spent our vacation in a rustic cabin in Burgundy, where we … risked electrocution every time we recharged our laptop using the cabin's rustic, non-grounded electrical outlets. — Laura Colby In 1982, he was sentenced to death by lethal injection or electrocution. — Lola Ogunnaike

Examples of electrocute in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Tasers them, electrocutes them, kicks them in the face, throws them across the room. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Kidz Bop’s “censored” songs aren’t just annoying — they’re problematic," 3 Oct. 2018 In late May, a 17-year-old straight-A student jumped onto the tracks at a station in the Bronx borough to retrieve something, but lost her footing and was electrocuted to death, officials told the New York Daily News. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Video shows teen narrowly escaping death to retrieve skateboard after failed trick," 21 June 2018 Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was electrocuted during a show there in 1965. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "This historic Sacramento theater will get an $11 million facelift | The Sacramento Bee," 23 May 2018 Officials believe she was electrocuted but are investigating exactly what happened, KSLA reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Girl electrocuted trying to rescue kittens, officials believe," 10 July 2018 The police suspect the bird may have been electrocuted because its claws had burn marks on them. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Dead red-tailed hawk found in Burr Ridge might have been electrocuted," 25 June 2018 Hernandez was electrocuted in the dryer, officials said, PEOPLE reported. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "An infant was found inside a dryer, family says. Arkansas mom is charged with murder.," 1 June 2018 Among those fatalities were landscaper Rico Eltine, 55, of Fort Lauderdale, who was electrocuted a month ago in Margate. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Father and son struck by lightning, and only one would live," 11 July 2018 Or maybe the light switch to electrocute you with, to keep the right analogy going. Fox News, "Meadows, Dershowitz react after Lisa Page defies subpoena," 12 July 2018

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

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for electrocute

electr- + -cute (as in execute)

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Statistics for electrocute

Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for electrocute

The first known use of electrocute was in 1889

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More Definitions for electrocute

electrocute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of electrocute

: to kill (a person or animal) by electric shock

electrocute

verb
elec·​tro·​cute | \i-ˈlek-trə-ˌkyüt \
electrocuted; electrocuting

Kids Definition of electrocute

: to kill by an electric shock

Other Words from electrocute

electrocution \ -​ˌlek-​trə-​ˈkyü-​shən \ noun

electrocute

transitive verb
elec·​tro·​cute | \i-ˈlek-trə-ˌkyüt \
electrocuted; electrocuting

Medical Definition of electrocute 

1 : to execute (a criminal) by electricity

2 : to kill by a shock of electricity

Other Words from electrocute

electrocution \ -​ˌlek-​trə-​ˈkyü-​shən \ noun

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electrocute

transitive verb
elec·​tro·​cute
electrocuted; electrocuting

Legal Definition of electrocute 

: to execute (a convicted criminal) by electricity

Other Words from electrocute

electrocution noun

History and Etymology for electrocute

electro-, combining form meaning “electric” + execute

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