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 arrested Pollard that night on three preliminary counts of reckless homicide and five preliminary counts of criminal recklessness causing injury. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "'They were all loved dearly': The tragic crash that killed Alanna Koons and her twins," 18 July 2019 Matthew Naquin, 21, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, was found guilty of negligent homicide Wednesday, the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office said. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Former LSU student convicted in fraternity hazing death," 18 July 2019 Preston James Dorrisis being held for investigation of vehicular homicide, reckless driving and motor vehicle theft, according to Douglas County District Court records. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Suspected driver arrested in connection with hit-and-run that killed Parker bicyclist on July 4," 17 July 2019 His killer, Jordan Fricke, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and three other counts Friday. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Caroline Rittner, widow of fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, throws out first pitch at Monday's Brewers game," 15 July 2019 Jones was arrested on July 3 on charges of first degree homicide. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "2-Year-Old Boy Is Allegedly Beaten to Death at Unlicensed Day Care," 15 July 2019 The charge of involuntary manslaughter is a new category on Israeli law books, falling between manslaughter, that can bring a 20-year jail term and the less severe charge of negligent homicide. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "Ethiopian Israelis protest after officer in shooting of unarmed man is released and faces lesser charge," 15 July 2019 Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, a 23-year-old West Springfield truck driver, faces seven counts of negligent homicide in the crash. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "Want a low license plate number like ‘B1’? The RMV is holding a lottery soon," 11 July 2019 The city, however, isn't on track to surpass 2016, when Louisville had the highest number of homicides in its history. Kala Kachmar, The Courier-Journal, "He held his newborn son and was gunned down minutes later. Are Louisville gangs to blame?," 5 July 2019

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

21 Jul 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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