firing squad


Definition of firing squad

1 : a detachment detailed to fire volleys over the grave of one buried with military honors
2 : a detachment detailed to carry out a sentence of death by shooting

Examples of firing squad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his search for collaborators (who are being shot by a firing squad in the street), Piller tracks down Van Meegeren, an erstwhile artist, art dealer and bon vivant. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘The Last Vermeer’ squanders Guy Pearce and high-stakes art forgery," 19 Nov. 2020 The communist government was imposing its will across the island and picketers demanded the young telephone operator face a firing squad, accusing her of setting fire to Havana’s largest department store. Romina Ruiz-goiriena, USA TODAY, "Latino voters who fled dictatorships demand four more years for Trump," 17 Nov. 2020 Gilmore was executed, at his request, by firing squad at the Utah State Prison in January 1977. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Orem evidence technician runs a police room holding grim history," 28 Sep. 2020 Mashhadi denounced several dozen colleagues by name, who were then forcibly ejected from the meeting and immediately imprisoned or, like Mashhadi, shot by firing squad. Philip Terzian, Washington Examiner, "Izzat Ibrahim al Douri, 1942-2020," 5 Nov. 2020 The sentence is typically carried out by lethal injection or by firing squad. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Teacher sentenced to death in China for poisoning students," 29 Sep. 2020 Double murderer Gary Gilmore drew worldwide attention when, in 1977, at his own insistence, the Texas native became the first person in nearly a decade to be executed in the United States when he was shot by a firing squad. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Historic parts of Utah prison shouldn’t get torn down, groups argue," 21 Sep. 2020 Gumilyov was convicted without a trial and executed by firing squad. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the Red Terror set a macabre course for the Soviet Union," 2 Sep. 2020 This past Christmas Day was the 30th anniversary of the public execution by firing squad of Romania’s last Communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, who’d ruled for 24 years. Melissa Fay Greene, The Atlantic, "Can an Unloved Child Learn to Love?," 18 June 2020

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

1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for firing squad

Time Traveler

The first known use of firing squad was in 1864

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Statistics for firing squad

Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Firing squad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for firing squad

firing squad


English Language Learners Definition of firing squad

: a group of soldiers whose job is to shoot a prisoner who has been sentenced to death

More from Merriam-Webster on firing squad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for firing squad

Britannica English: Translation of firing squad for Arabic Speakers

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