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

Police also announced that a 33-year-old who was shot on July 1 had died and identified three additional homicide victims. Nicholas Bogel-burroughs, baltimoresun.com, "Two men shot, one fatally, in Baltimore in separate Tuesday morning shootings," 10 July 2018 Add the killing of his unborn child to the homicide charges Cassandritz Blanc is facing. Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Grand jury indicts man on murder charge in death of his unborn child," 4 July 2018 Stinson said the relatively fast homicide charge against East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld wasn't surprising given that Pennsylvania, unlike other states, does not require an indictment from a grand jury before charging someone. NBC News, "After 2 officers charged in 2 fatal police shootings, are arrests happening faster?," 30 June 2018 In the past seven years, the bodies of three homicide victims were dumped at vacant Emerson, Horace Mann and Riley schools. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Gary's empty schools have seen vandalism, arson and neglect. Now, they're going on the real estate market.," 28 June 2018 Eight people under the age of 17, including Lesandro, have been homicide victims in the city so far this year, up from three in the same period a year before. New York Times, "Bronx Mourns Teenager Killed in Vicious Attack," 27 June 2018 Sanchez pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty on May 25, 2018, after negligent homicide charges were dropped. Jasmine Khayami And Elizabeth Strassner, USA TODAY, "Collisions reveal a Navy tragically undone by its can-do spirit," 25 June 2018 The argument between two men ended with one man killed and the other arrested about 2 p.m. at the FavTrip gas station at 10507 E. 23rd St. Police on Sunday identified the homicide victim as Cahoon N. Littlejohn, 28, of Independence. Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "Short argument sparks fatal shooting at Independence gas station, owner says," 24 June 2018 The documents also identify the homicide victim as Patricia Haverly. Amir Vera, CNN, "A Pennsylvania man spoke to reporters about a dead body. Turns out it was his mom.," 10 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

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Statistics for homicide

Last Updated

12 May 2019

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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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