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 electrocution (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 And at the end of their short lives, the animals are either anally electrocuted, gassed, or beaten to death. Pj Smith, refinery29.com, "Ending The Fur Trade Could Help Prevent Future Pandemics," 7 May 2020 Edison even publicly electrocuted stray animals using AC power as a scare tactic. Lauren Kent, CNN, "The Nikola Tesla inventions that should have made the inventor famous, such as the 'teleautomaton,' 'shadowgraphs' and possibly a death ray," 25 Oct. 2019 Rouch, the prosecutor, said Corrigan thought he had been electrocuted and went back inside his home, yelling for Bailey, who was asleep. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "'Barbaric, medieval-style execution': Man found guilty of killing retired lecturer with crossbow," 25 Feb. 2020 Authorities have attributed four other deaths to the storm, including that of a 19-year-old man who was electrocuted while trying to lead his horse to safety through floodwaters. CBS News, "5th death linked to Tropical Storm Imelda's aftermath," 21 Sep. 2019 Not electrocuted, starved, or decapitated by wind turbines. National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 9 Apr. 2020 Two of the victims were electrocuted and one was hit by a falling mango tree, officials said. Helen Regan, CNN, "Typhoon Phanfone kills 21 as it hits the Philippines on Christmas Day," 26 Dec. 2019 High profile leaders have been arrested, and Ali Madani, the Sons of Shambhat’s original host, says he was electrocuted, beaten, and thrown out of a vehicle in a distant neighborhood across the Nile River. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "Sudan’s protesters dodge crackdowns before ‘million march’ against military rule," 30 June 2019 He was almost electrocuted in one of those moments. Bryan Reesman, Billboard, "On 35th Anniversary, Spinal Tap Gets Real About Changing the Game With a Fake Band," 30 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for electrocute

Cite this Entry

“Electrocute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/electrocute. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for electrocute

electrocute

verb
How to pronounce electrocute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of electrocute

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

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 electrocution (audio) \ 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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More from Merriam-Webster on electrocute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with electrocute

Spanish Central: Translation of electrocute

Nglish: Translation of electrocute for Spanish Speakers

Comments on electrocute

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