lynch

verb
\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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 The memorial features 800 massive steel blocks that are suspended from the ceiling, each etched with the name of a county in which African Americans were lynched, and if known, the names of the victims. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: San Antonio overcompensates for the sins of others with its MLK events," 14 Jan. 2020 The Klan and other white supremacists terrorized and murdered former slaves; nativists lynched Italian immigrants and shot Jews. Diane Roberts, The New Republic, "Celebrating 150 Years of Simulated Warfare," 6 Nov. 2019 Tensions ran high, crowds gathered outside the courthouse and a local newspaper suggested that the man might be lynched, prompting some black residents to arm themselves and patrol the streets. BostonGlobe.com, "Possible mass graves from 1921 racist massacre in Tulsa found," 17 Dec. 2019 Tensions ran high, crowds gathered outside the courthouse and a local newspaper suggested that the man might be lynched, prompting some black residents to arm themselves and patrol the streets. New York Times, "Tulsa Sites May Hold Mass Graves From ‘Black Wall Street’ Massacre," 17 Dec. 2019 State and local governments established an intensely repressive, hyper-patriotic regime, in which citizens were jailed for failing to buy war bonds, and lynched and murdered for voicing antiwar sentiments. Trevor Paulhus, Smithsonian, "When the Socialist Revolution Came to Oklahoma—and Was Crushed," 19 Sep. 2019 Holt had aired segments on his own discovery — at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice (informally known as the National Lynching Museum) — that one of his ancestors had probably been lynched. Sarah Ellison, Washington Post, "Lester Holt’s path from country music DJ to the most powerful perch in news," 6 Sep. 2019 Saying you’ve been lynched is like working long hours and calling yourself a slave. Leonard Greene, Twin Cities, "Leonard Greene: Political ‘victims’ who create their own problems need to stop saying they were ‘lynched’ and find a different word," 31 Oct. 2019 According to historical accounts, black residents gathered around the courthouse after Rowland was arrested, fearing he had been lynched by a mob. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "Beto O'Rourke, taking retooled message to Oklahoma, calls Trump a racist 'demagogue'," 19 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of lynch

1835, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lynch

lynch law

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lynch

Time Traveler for lynch

Time Traveler

The first known use of lynch was in 1835

See more words from the same year

Statistics for lynch

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lynch.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lynch?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=l&file=lynch001. Accessed 24 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lynch

lynch

verb
How to pronounce lynch (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a feeling of well-being or elation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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