\ ˈlinch How to pronounce lynch (audio) \
lynched; lynching; lynches

Definition of lynch

transitive verb

: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal approval or permission The accused killer was lynched by an angry mob.

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Other Words from lynch

lyncher noun

Examples of lynch in a Sentence

The accused killer was lynched by an angry mob.

Recent Examples on the Web

Nearly 600 people were lynched from Reconstruction to the 1960s, the highest number in the country, according to the NAACP. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The odds are against Mike Espy in a Senate runoff election. But here’s his path to an upset win.," 27 Nov. 2018 The local branch of the NAACP here has county officials’ backing to put up a memorial to lynching victims, possibly at the courthouse about a block away from where a Confederate monument still stands—its fate uncertain. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "In the South, New Monuments Look to Honor Victims of Lynching," 2 Mar. 2019 Video of Hyde-Smith’s lynching remarks was released on social media last weekend, causing national uproar against the senator. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Cindy Hyde-Smith called for a “front row” seat at a lynching. Now donors want their money back.," 20 Nov. 2018 This time, national attention over the opening of the nation's first-ever lynching memorial will serve as the backdrop. John Sharp,, "How Alabama could become 'Ground Zero' in renewed battle over Confederate symbols," 22 Apr. 2018 Between 1880 and 1922, an African-American was lynched more than once a week, according to Dr. Finkelman, and by 1968, there had been about 4,800 lynchings, mostly of African-Americans. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "A Look at African-American History, Through the Numbers," 15 Feb. 2019 Tina Washington can’t remember being told that white men lynched her granddaddy back in 1935. Vanessa Gregory, New York Times, "A Lynching’s Long Shadow," 25 Apr. 2018 In October, the hanging death of Dayne Jones, the son of a prominent Ferguson, Missouri, activist, fueled accusations that the young man was lynched, though local police have disputed that characterization of the crime. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "By passing the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act this week, the Senate acknowledged its role in decades of racial terrorism.," 21 Dec. 2018 At least 12 people died Thursday in violent protests in the central province of Kwilu, where two police officers were lynched and 10 civilians were shot, said the head of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Congo, Leila Zerrougui. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Congo Opposition Candidate to Challenge Election Results," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lynch.' 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 lynch

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lynch

lynch law

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Dictionary Entries near lynch






lynch law

lynch mob

Statistics for lynch

Last Updated

25 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for lynch

The first known use of lynch was in 1835

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More Definitions for lynch



English Language Learners Definition of lynch

: to kill (someone) illegally as punishment for a crime
\ ˈlinch How to pronounce lynch (audio) \

Legal Definition of lynch

: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction

Other Words from lynch

lyncher noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on lynch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lynch

Spanish Central: Translation of lynch

Nglish: Translation of lynch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lynch for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lynch

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


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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