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

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Other Words from euthanasia

euthanasic \ ˌyü-​thə-​ˈnā-​zik How to pronounce euthanasic (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

Shelters must commit to save healthy or treatable animals even when a shelter is full, and to only utilize euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Milpitas community briefs for the week of June 7," 7 June 2019 Drowning is listed as an unacceptable primary method of euthanasia, according to the Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia, which the agency recommends for guidance. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Florida teacher accused of drowning raccoons, opossum in science class placed on leave," 19 May 2018 The morning of her euthanasia, Harper was too fatigued to even eat breakfast. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 Not only has the church been historically opposed to medically assisted suicide and euthanasia, its representatives have often vocally advocated on behalf of keeping terminally ill or vegetative patients on life support indefinitely. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "David Goodall’s physician-assisted suicide raises wider questions.," 21 May 2018 More often than not, euthanasia is the way our pets die. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018 The state of Victoria in Australia recently passed an euthanasia bill, the Washington Post reported. Fox News, "Scientist, 104, ends life at assisted-suicide clinic in Switzerland," 11 May 2018 In 2015, despite lobbying by PETA, Virginia lawmakers enacted a law that requires shelters to make a better attempt at finding adoptive homes and use euthanasia as a last resort. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "When it comes to dog care, Iditarod-bashing PETA has some questions to answer," 13 Feb. 2018 In-home euthanasia practices work as an adjunct for veterinary clinics. Ace Ratcliff, SELF, "Pet Euthanasia at Home: 6 Ways to Make Putting Down Your Pet Easier on Them—and You," 25 Oct. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near euthanasia

Euterpean

eutexia

Euthamia

euthanasia

euthanize

euthenics

eutherian

Statistics for euthanasia

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for euthanasia

The first known use of euthanasia was in 1605

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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 euthanasic (audio) \ adjective

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