hang·​man | \ ˈhaŋ-mən How to pronounce hangman (audio) \

Definition of hangman

1 : one who hangs a condemned person also : a public executioner
2 : a game in which the object is for one player to guess the letters of an unknown word before the player who knows the word creates a stick figure of a hanged man by drawing one line for each incorrect guess

Examples of hangman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Every escaped the hangman’s noose, though several of his comrades were captured and executed. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Notorious 17th-Century Pirate, the Many Lives of the Louvre and Other New Books to Read," 12 May 2020 But one at Talladega was made using a hangman’s knot. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Bubba Wallace and the ‘Noose’ That Wasn’t," 26 June 2020 In America, the hangman's noose has come to symbolize a deplorable act of brutality, along with unbound fear and hatred towards African Americans. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Why the noose is such a potent symbol of hate," 23 June 2020 The comments appeared with an image of a hangman’s noose, according to the newspaper. Midland Reporter-telegram, Houston Chronicle, "Petition demands removal of Odessa school board member who shared anti-Semitic, racist posts," 9 June 2020 On the other, form a hangman’s noose over the paracord. Joseph Albanese, Outdoor Life, "6 Waterfowl Projects You Need to Do Before Opening Day," 28 May 2020 But instead of a scarf, a hangman’s knot was on the woman’s lap, an image that critics said was highly offensive and evoked the lynchings of black people in the Deep South. Neil Vigdor, New York Times, "Mississippi State Football Coach Must Visit Civil Rights Museum After Noose Tweet," 8 Apr. 2020 Leach tweeted out a coronavirus meme containing a hangman’s noose, which some construed to be a depiction of lynching. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Mississippi State’s Mike Leach will participate in ‘listening sessions’ after controversial tweet," 7 Apr. 2020 Then a lifeline popped into our inbox: The parents of one of Isla’s friends suggested a Zoom chat with five of Isla’s second-grade friends to play a few rounds of virtual hangman. USA Today, "Cooped-up kids navigate a strange new play space," 24 Mar. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for hangman

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The first known use of hangman was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Hangman.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hangman. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for hangman


hang·​man | \ ˈhaŋ-mən How to pronounce hangman (audio) \
plural hangmen\ -​mən \

Kids Definition of hangman

: a person who hangs criminals

More from Merriam-Webster on hangman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hangman

Nglish: Translation of hangman for Spanish Speakers

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