Definition of euthanasia
: the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy
euthanasicplay \-zik, -sik\ adjective
Examples of euthanasia in a sentence
a physician who refuses to practice euthanasia
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
First Known Use: 1869
EUTHANASIA Defined for English Language Learners
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 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
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