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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for homicide


blood, foul play, murder, rubout, slaying

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of homicide in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

The shooting comes in the wake of a double homicide Aug. 13 in Castle Hill, a town about 10 miles west of Presque Isle. BostonGlobe.com, "Schools in a Northern Maine county are on lockdown while Presque Isle police search for suspects involved in a shooting Monday morning, officials said.," 10 Sep. 2019 Feinauer was indicted on two counts of negligent reckless homicide seven months after the crash on Nov. 17, 2016. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Sentencing delayed: NKY driver accused of killing mom and 8-year-old in 2016 crash," 9 Sep. 2019 Chicago has long been the whipping boy for conservatives who oppose gun control, pointing to the city and state’s tough gun laws but high rates of homicide. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "tl;dr: Naperville children shouldn’t know what weed smells like, Starbucks runs out of scones, the Bears embarrass themselves," 6 Sep. 2019 At that time, he was booked into the Ramsey County jail for probable cause of criminal vehicular homicide. Deanna Weniger, Twin Cities, "Roseville motorist who left scene after striking pedestrian in fatal January crash is charged," 6 Sep. 2019 The delivery driver, who was working for an Amazon contractor at the height of the holiday rush, was indicted on a felony charge of reckless homicide but was acquitted in a bench trial this summer. Patricia Callahan, ProPublica, "A Truck Delivering Amazon Holiday Packages. A Crash. A Family That Will Never Be the Same.," 5 Sep. 2019 Investigators have received no further leads on Izumi’s whereabouts since the night of the homicide, Frisch said. Joe Nelson, The Mercury News, "California man stabbed to death was raising suspect’s daughter, police say," 4 Sep. 2019 The database tracks homicides where four or more people are killed, not including the offender. Anchorage Daily News, "Texas shooter got gun at private sale after being denied in 2014 background check," 4 Sep. 2019 The owners of the nursing home, Sal and Mabel Mangano, were charged with 35 counts of homicide. CBS News, "Warrants issued for nursing home workers allegedly linked to patient deaths during Hurricane Irma," 24 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about homicide

Statistics for homicide

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for homicide

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more


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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!