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

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 In Bible's case, his lawyers suggest that an alternative method - firing squad or nitrogen gas - would decrease the risk of suffering. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Houston serial killer Danny Bible's lawyers say he is too sick to execute, predict botched procedure," 8 June 2018 Military and civil guard firing squads shot dead at least 2,238 prisoners here according to historians' research and the cemetery's records. Aritz Parra, Fox News, "In Spain, renewed efforts to appease victims of dictatorship," 28 Aug. 2018 The lawsuit says death by firing squad would be constitutional, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 1878. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Tennessee Death-Row Inmates Demand Execution by Firing Squad," 6 Nov. 2018 Prior to the use of injections, other methods were used to execute incarcerated people: gas chambers, electric chairs, and firing squads. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 Tennessee allows the use of the electric chair while Utah has passed a law allowing death by firing squad if the state is unable to obtain the proper drugs. Willie James Inman, Fox News, "Future of lethal injection in doubt as critics, drug makers rebel against it," 31 July 2018 Ceausescu and his wife were executed by firing squad on Christmas Day 1989. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "5 World Leaders Whose Visits to the U.K. Sparked Controversy," 12 July 2018 Three Utah inmates have been executed by firing squad, the most recent in 2010. Time, "Houston's 'Ice Pick Killer' Executed in Texas for 1979 Rape and Murder," 29 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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The first known use of firing squad was in 1864

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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

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Spanish Central: Translation of firing squad

Britannica English: Translation of firing squad for Arabic Speakers

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to boil down or concentrate

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