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

Samuel was part of the team that defended former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis against a double-homicide accusation in 2000. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "LeSean 'Shady' McCoy's reported attorney has history of high-profile cases," 12 July 2018 Overall for the year, homicides are down by about a quarter from 2017’s historic levels, and shootings in which the victim survived are also down 8 percent. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police assign 115 extra officers to patrol the streets in hopes of curbing overtime spending, crime," 11 July 2018 Holland appeared Friday, July 13, for a sentencing hearing — mostly a formality since his conviction of first-degree intentional homicide in May had already decided his fate: a mandatory life sentence in prison. Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Holland ordered to pay $6,500 in restitution after hatchet killing," 13 July 2018 Czeck is facing charges of criminal vehicular homicide and leaving the scene without calling authorities or lending aid, according to RPD Chief of Police Mitchell Scott. Jessica Spitz /, NBC News, "Mother and daughter killed after boulder falls off back of truck in Minnesota," 13 July 2018 Public protests erupted in 2002 when a U.S. court-martial acquitted two GI’s of negligent homicide after their vehicle crushed two teen-aged girls during an army training exercise. Time, "Inside Camp Humphreys, South Korea: America's Largest Overseas Military Base," 13 July 2018 The number of encounters Baltimore police initiated themselves – rather than in response to a call – plummeted after Freddie Gray’s death, and the number of homicides and assaults involving guns rose. Brad Heath, USA TODAY, "Baltimore police stopped noticing crime after Freddie Gray's death. A wave of killings followed.," 12 July 2018 Prosecutors charged Hill last week with two counts of reckless homicide. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Driver is charged in Speedway crash that killed mother and daughter," 10 July 2018 Both parents were convicted of criminally negligent homicide and given 16-month prison terms, the paper reports. Alexia Fernandez, PEOPLE.com, "Faith Healer Parents Plead Guilty in the Death of Baby After They Chose Prayer Over Medical Help," 10 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

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

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Statistics for homicide

Last Updated

1 Sep 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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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 make amends

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