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

Kim Hyok-chol, the envoy, was executed by firing squad in March at the Mirim airfield in a suburb of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s largest daily, reported on Friday, citing an anonymous source. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “It’s a Dirty, Filthy, Disgusting Word!”," 2 June 2019 The political circular firing squad is usually found on Colorado’s right. Jon Caldara, The Denver Post, "Caldara: Let’s take a deeper look behind Hickenlooper’s poll numbers," 23 Aug. 2019 Utah was the first state to put a prisoner to death following that moratorium, when Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad on Jan. 17, 1977. NBC News, "Ruling pushes death row inmate Ronald Watson Lafferty closer to Utah's firing squad," 13 Aug. 2019 At least one Ohio death-row inmate has asked to be put to death via firing squad. Jeremy Pelzer,, "Gov. Mike DeWine again delays execution, says Ohio should look at lethal-injection alternatives," 31 July 2019 Because the Republican Party in the run-up to the last election was just such an awful spectacle, watching one person after another go after each other in this circular firing squad. NBC News, "Meet the Press - June 16, 2019," 16 June 2019 Almost all of the state killings documented in the report were public executions by firing squad. Washington Post, "Human rights group locates North Korean execution sites," 11 June 2019 And there is a new wave of controversy – and a slew of lawsuits – alleging that lethal injections are almost as inhumane as firing squads. Willie James Inman, Fox News, "Future of lethal injection in doubt as critics, drug makers rebel against it," 31 July 2018 Neither firing squad nor nitrogen gas are legal execution methods in Texas and the state Legislature isn’t scheduled to meet again until next year. Michael Graczyk, The Seattle Times, "Texas inmate wants to be executed by firing squad or gas," 26 June 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for firing squad

The first known use of firing squad was in 1864

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with firing squad

Spanish Central: Translation of firing squad

Britannica English: Translation of firing squad for Arabic Speakers

Comments on firing squad

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fear of the number 13

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