euthanasia

noun
eu·​tha·​na·​sia | \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce euthanasia (audio) \

Definition of euthanasia

: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy

Other Words from euthanasia

euthanasic \ ˌyü-​thə-​ˈnā-​zik How to pronounce euthanasia (audio) , -​sik \ adjective

Where does euthanasia come from?

Euthanasia is a mass noun (or noncount noun), that is, a noun used only in the singular form.

The word comes from the Greek euthanatos, which means “easy death.” In English, euthanasia has been used in exactly this sense since the early seventeenth century, when Francis Bacon described the phenomenon as “after the fashion and semblance of a kindly & pleasant sleepe.” Nowadays, the word usually refers to the means of attaining such a death.

Examples of euthanasia in a Sentence

a physician who refuses to practice euthanasia
Recent Examples on the Web By 2010, adoptions became key to declining shelter euthanasia rates. BostonGlobe.com, 27 Oct. 2021 Diane Ewert, who had ties to a local dog rescue in Kingsburg, California, was alerted to Poppie's case by a friend and showed up at the shelter to save the pup, arriving within an hour of the dog's euthanasia time. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 15 Dec. 2021 The company came under in scrutiny in 2016 after complaints about the euthanasia of three dogs. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, 20 Oct. 2021 Users were divided, with pet owners and sympathizers outraged, while others viewed the euthanasia as a sensible choice during the pandemic. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 29 Sep. 2021 In 2013, the American Veterinary Medical Association published new guidelines for the euthanasia of animals, which referenced the research showing that fish feel pain. NBC News, 15 Aug. 2021 Before the mass euthanasia on the Elbeik, the official veterinary report found that iron pipes in the pens of the ship were broken or had rusted areas with sharp elements that may have scratched or hurt the cattle. Kevin Varley, Fortune, 8 July 2021 To help prevent the euthanasia of healthy dogs, the shelter is asking anyone in the community who can to consider adopting a medium or large sized dog this week. Brayden Garcia, Dallas News, 26 May 2021 Advancements in medicine have made a horse’s chance of survival greater after injury, but sometimes euthanasia is the best choice. Los Angeles Times, 6 Dec. 2021

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

1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for euthanasia

Greek, easy death, from euthanatos, from eu- + thanatos death — more at thanatos

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Time Traveler for euthanasia

Time Traveler

The first known use of euthanasia was in 1605

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Dictionary Entries Near euthanasia

Euthamia

euthanasia

euthanize

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Statistics for euthanasia

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Euthanasia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/euthanasia. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for euthanasia

euthanasia

noun

English Language Learners Definition of euthanasia

: the act or practice of killing someone who is very sick or injured in order to prevent any more suffering

euthanasia

noun
eu·​tha·​na·​sia | \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zh(ē-)ə How to pronounce euthanasia (audio) \

Medical Definition of euthanasia

: the act or practice of causing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (such as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy

called also mercy killing

euthanasia

noun
eu·​tha·​na·​sia | \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zhə How to pronounce euthanasia (audio) \

Legal Definition of euthanasia

: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured persons in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy

called also mercy killing

Other Words from euthanasia

euthanasic \ -​ˈnā-​zik, -​sik How to pronounce euthanasia (audio) \ adjective

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