electrocute

verb
elec·​tro·​cute | \ i-ˈlek-trə-ˌkyüt How to pronounce electrocute (audio) \
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 How to pronounce electrocute (audio) \ 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 Bernard Lown, a renowned Harvard University cardiologist, denounced the idea in a 1972 medical-journal article and warned that the device might electrocute people. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Yet one news story managed to break through the tedium of the waning days of 2022, about an AI assistant that reportedly encouraged a 10-year-old to electrocute herself. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 31 Dec. 2021 Bug zappers attract insects with ultraviolet light and then electrocute them, but the light usually isn’t intense enough to harm people. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 July 2021 This backfeed could electrocute utility workers or people in neighboring buildings, said Paul Hope, the home and garden editor at Consumer Reports. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 1 Sep. 2021 Among the products cited in the suit are carbon monoxide detectors that fail to alarm, numerous children's pajamas that could catch fire and nearly 400,000 hair dryers that could electrocute people if dropped in water. Chris Isidore, CNN, 15 July 2021 State prisons officials had planned on Friday to electrocute Sigmon, a 63-year-old inmate who has spent nearly two decades on death row after he was convicted in 2002 of killing his ex-girlfriend's parents with a baseball bat. CBS News, 17 June 2021 The state, one of eight that still electrocute inmates, has yet to assemble a firing squad. Meg Kinnard, Star Tribune, 6 June 2021 Nineteen inmates have died in the electric chair this century, and South Carolina is one of eight states that can still electrocute inmates, according to the center. BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2021 See More

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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Time Traveler for electrocute

Time Traveler

The first known use of electrocute was in 1889

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Dictionary Entries Near electrocute

electrocortin

electrocute

electrocutor trap

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Statistics for electrocute

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Electrocute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electrocute. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for electrocute

electrocute

verb
elec·​tro·​cute | \ i-ˈlek-trə-ˌkyüt How to pronounce electrocute (audio) \
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 How to pronounce electrocute (audio) \
electrocuted; electrocuting

Medical Definition of electrocute

1 : to kill or severely injure by electric shock
2 : to execute (a criminal) by electricity

Other Words from electrocute

electrocution \ -​ˌlek-​trə-​ˈkyü-​shən How to pronounce electrocute (audio) \ noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on electrocute

Nglish: Translation of electrocute for Spanish Speakers

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