ho·mi·cide | \ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd, ˈhō- \

Definition of homicide 

1 : a person who kills another

2 : a killing of one human being by another detectives investigating a homicide

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Synonyms for homicide


blood, foul play, murder, slaying

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Examples of homicide in a Sentence

The number of homicides increased last year. He has been arrested for homicide.

Recent Examples on the Web

New Hampshire’s chief medical examiner, Dr. Jennie V. Duval, declared the death a homicide, officials said Friday. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "Westminster man found dead in N.H. was identified by dental records," 14 July 2018 Roughly 12 hours later, the Medical Examiner’s office ruled their deaths a homicide. Chelsea Prince, ajc, "Neighbors honor couple found strangled in burned Atlanta home," 12 July 2018 Police are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead in east Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Tuesday. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Police investigating homicide in east Charlotte," 10 July 2018 Wochit Officials are investigating a homicide after the body of a 30-year-old man was discovered in a church yard Tuesday morning in south Phoenix. Kimberly Rapanut, azcentral, "Police: Dead body found in yard of south Phoenix church," 10 July 2018 Milwaukee police are investigating a homicide that occurred early Saturday in the 3200 block of North Holton Street. Diana Dombrowski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police investigate homicide on N. Holton St.," 7 July 2018 Police are investigating a double homicide following the death of two men Monday evening. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Police investigating double homicide following Midtown shooting," 25 June 2018 His death was ruled a homicide caused by asphyxia by strangulation, complicated by heroin intoxication, the paper reported. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "What we know about convicted Indiana killer and possible cannibal Kelly Cochran," 21 June 2018 Sacrmento Police are investigating the death of a man in the Northgate area, deeming it a homicide, the department announced Wednesday. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "Police investigate homicide in Northgate area," 14 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for homicide

in sense 1, from Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin homicida, from homo human being + -cida -cide; in sense 2, from Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin homicidium, from homo + -cidium -cide

Latin homicidium, from homo human being + caedere to cut, kill

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Statistics for homicide

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for homicide

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

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More Definitions for homicide



English Language Learners Definition of homicide

: the act of killing another person


ho·mi·cide | \ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd, ˈhō-mə-\

Kids Definition of homicide

: a killing of one human being by another


ho·mi·cide | \ˈhäm-ə-ˌsīd, ˈhō-mə- \

Medical Definition of homicide 

1 : a person who kills another

2 : a killing of one human being by another — compare genocide

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ho·mi·cide | \ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd, ˈhō- \

Legal Definition of homicide 

1 : a person who kills another

2 : the killing of one human being by another — compare manslaughter, murder

criminal homicide

: homicide committed by a person with a criminal state of mind (as intentionally, with premeditation, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence)

deliberate homicide

: homicide caused purposely and knowingly used in Montana

excusable homicide

: homicide that is committed by accident or misfortune by a person doing a lawful act by lawful means with usual and ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent and that is excused under the law also : justifiable homicide in this entry

felonious homicide

: homicide committed without justification

homicide by misadventure

: homicide that occurs as the result of an accident caused by a person doing a lawful act with no unlawful intent

justifiable homicide

: homicide that is committed in self-defense, in defense of another and especially a member of one's family or sometimes in defense of a residence, in preventing a felony especially involving great bodily harm, or in performing a legal duty and that is justified under the law also : excusable homicide in this entry

negligent homicide

: homicide caused by a person's criminally negligent act

reckless homicide

: homicide caused by a person's reckless acts

Note: In Illinois, involuntary manslaughter committed by use of a motor vehicle is called reckless homicide.

vehicular homicide \vē-ˈhi-kyə-lər- \

: homicide committed by the use of a vehicle (as an automobile or boat)

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