ex·​e·​cu·​tion·​er | \ ˌek-si-ˈkyü-sh(ə-)nər How to pronounce executioner (audio) \

Definition of executioner

: one who executes especially : one who puts to death

Examples of executioner in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web President Trump has been privately praising Singapore, the small city-state once known as the world’s most active executioner per capita. Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, "Trump reportedly praised Singapore for executing drug dealers. Here’s how they’re killed.," 1 Mar. 2018 For some, including those Jews and Roma who had survived the Holocaust, the war’s end took power away from their persecutors and executioners. Anil Menon, The Conversation, "Postwar forced resettlement of Germans echoes through the decades," 7 May 2020 Exactly 371 years ago on a bitterly cold Jan. 30, 1649, the king stepped out of the Banqueting House in Central London onto a scaffold, where his executioner awaited with an ax. Fox News, "King’s stained execution vest tells grisly tale, set to go on display," 31 Jan. 2020 Many people jump to the conclusion that only psychopaths or sadists—individuals entirely different from us—could ever strap on a suicide vest or wield an executioner's sword. Stephen D. Reicher, Scientific American, "Fueling Terror: How Extremists Are Made," 25 Mar. 2016 At a checkpoint in Baghdad in March of 2010, Iraqi agents arrested Manaf al-Rawi, believed to be one of the executioners of an American contractor, Nick Berg, whose videotaped beheading was posted on the internet. Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS Leader Known for His Brutality, Is Dead at 48," 27 Oct. 2019 In Wong’s version, the executioners wear the blue uniforms of Hong Kong police, seen by many to be closer to Beijing than to the city’s own residents. Vivienne Chow, Quartz, "Twelve works of art that chart the emotional upheavals of the Hong Kong protests," 31 Dec. 2019 This poisonous atmosphere of majoritarian flexing has transformed Congress from a co-equal branch to either the wingman or the executioner of the president. Edward Morrissey, TheWeek, "The impeachment rules fight is another blowup in the slow destruction of Congress," 22 Jan. 2020 Of all the things millennials have been accused of killing, diamonds are most deserving of the executioner’s ax. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "tl;dr: Chicago’s top 50 restaurants, farewell to Sporty the dog and a test to prove how Chicago you are," 21 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'executioner.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of executioner

1536, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about executioner

Time Traveler for executioner

Time Traveler

The first known use of executioner was in 1536

See more words from the same year

Statistics for executioner

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Executioner.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/executioner. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for executioner


How to pronounce executioner (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of executioner

: a person who performs executions : a person who executes people who have been sentenced to death


ex·​e·​cu·​tion·​er | \ ˌek-si-ˈkyü-shə-nər How to pronounce executioner (audio) \

Legal Definition of executioner

: one who puts another to death in fulfillment of a judicial death sentence

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on executioner

What made you want to look up executioner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!