euthanasia

noun eu·tha·na·sia \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zh(ē-)ə \
Updated on: 8 Jan 2018

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

euthanasic

play \ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zik, -sik\ adjective

Examples of euthanasia in a Sentence

  1. a physician who refuses to practice euthanasia

Recent Examples of euthanasia from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of euthanasia

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


EUTHANASIA Defined for English Language Learners

euthanasia

noun

Definition of euthanasia for English Language Learners

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


Medical Dictionary

euthanasia

noun eu·tha·na·sia \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zh(ē-)ə \

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

Law Dictionary

euthanasia

noun eu·tha·na·sia \ ˌyü-thə-ˈnā-zhə \

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

euthanasic

play \-ˈnā-zik, -sik\ adjective


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