ho·​mi·​cide | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd How to pronounce homicide (audio) , ˈhō- How to pronounce homicide (audio) \

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, rubout, 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

But as far as homicides go, people with mental illnesses are more likely to be victims, not perpetrators, of violence. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 His death was the city’s fifth homicide of the year. Ruth Bruno, courant.com, "Hartford Police Arrest Suspects In March, June Homicides," 11 July 2018 Researchers have found this to be true not just with homicides, but also with suicides (which in recent years were around 60 percent of US gun deaths), domestic violence, and violence against police. German Lopez, Vox, "He survived the Las Vegas mass shooting. Then he died in the Thousand Oaks, California, shooting.," 9 Nov. 2018 State police have charged Nauman Hussain with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the deadly limousine crash on Saturday. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Limo Company Operator Faces Homicide Charge in Deadly N.Y. Crash," 10 Oct. 2018 Pennsylvania State Police charged 34-year-old Kevin Markay Souiyavong on Monday with vehicular homicide, reckless driving and several other moving violations, connected to the death of 56-year-old John Baum. Fox News, "Truck driver was watching football game when he fatally hit biker, police say," 2 Oct. 2018 Texter was charged with vehicular homicide, three counts of reckless driving, two counts of serious injury by vehicle, speeding, improper passing and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Steve Burns, ajc, "North Fulton woman indicted in deadly Cherokee County crash," 13 July 2018 Table is charged by Bensalem police with criminal homicide, kidnapping and possession of an instrument of crime, according to online records. Greg Hanlon, PEOPLE.com, "Pa. Woman Called 911 on Ex-Boyfriend Moments Before She Was Stabbed to Death," 10 July 2018 Two women were arrested Friday in connection with the homicide of a man who was shot to death at a north Charlotte hotel. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "A man was shot to death at a Charlotte hotel. Now two women are charged.," 6 July 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

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Statistics for homicide

Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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

chiefly US : the act of killing another person


ho·​mi·​cide | \ ˈhä-mə-ˌsīd How to pronounce homicide (audio) , ˈhō-mə-\

Kids Definition of homicide

: a killing of one human being by another


ho·​mi·​cide | \ ˈhäm-ə-ˌsīd How to pronounce homicide (audio) , ˈhō-mə- How to pronounce homicide (audio) \

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- How to pronounce homicide (audio) \

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)

History and Etymology for homicide

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

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Comments on homicide

What made you want to look up homicide? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to corrupt or become corrupted

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