lynched; lynching; lynches

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.
lyncher noun

Examples of lynch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Critics took issue with some of the lyrics and were notably upset that the video included scenes of a Tennessee courthouse where a Black teenager was lynched in 1927 after he was accused of assaulting a white 16-year-old girl. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 1 Nov. 2023 The musician also addressed the video's filming location of the Maury County Courthouse, where 18-year-old Black man Henry Choate was lynched nearly 100 years before. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2023 The clip features scenes filmed at Tennessee’s Maury County Courthouse, where a Black man named Henry Choate was lynched in 1927. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 3 Nov. 2023 The song had already been accused of featuring lyrics that were pro-gun and pro-violence, but the accompanying music video generated greater outrage for being filmed in front of a courthouse in Colombia, Tennessee where a Black man was lynched in the 1920s. Zack Sharf, Variety, 31 Oct. 2023 After he was jailed, a group of armed Black people, fearful he would be lynched, gathered outside the county courthouse to ensure his safety. Christine Hauser, New York Times, 10 Oct. 2023 This Israeli soldier was apparently lynched on camera. CBS News, 8 Oct. 2023 In 1869, a white mob pulled two Black men from the jail in Linden and lynched them, according to a newspaper account from the time. Nicholas P. Brown, NBC News, 4 Oct. 2023 In April, an Oklahoma sheriff was among several county officials caught on tape discussing killing journalists and lynching Black people. David Bauder, Fortune, 14 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lynch.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after lynch law

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lynch was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near lynch

Cite this Entry

“Lynch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal authority
lyncher noun

Legal Definition


transitive verb
: to put to death (as by hanging) by mob action without legal sanction
lyncher noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lynch

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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