\ 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 At least 40 — all African American males — are known to have been killed by lynching in Maryland over approximately the same span. Jonathan Pitts,, "Civil rights author cheers public launch of new commission on Maryland’s lynching history," 13 Sep. 2019 A century later, black and white people met at Sloss Furnaces to confront the injustice of Redmond’s death and the death of at least 30 people lynched in Jefferson County. John Hammontree |, al, "Birmingham unveils county’s first marker recognizing victims of lynching," 10 Sep. 2019 Captured German officers were led from the Hotel de Ville today and police had to keep the crowd from lynching them, Radio Paris said. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Paris was liberated 75 years ago," 25 Aug. 2019 Okrent offered the example of the New Orleans mob that lynched 11 Italian immigrants in 1891 after they were acquitted on charges of killing the city's police chief. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "Weekend of mass killing reflects how American violence goes viral," 5 Aug. 2019 The mob, which was out to avenge the killing of two white law enforcement officers, would lynch at least three black males, including a 13-year-old, and leave the Carswell Grove Baptist Church in an ashy heap. John Eligon, New York Times, "Recovering the Memory of a Black Church Destroyed During the ‘Red Summer’," 31 Aug. 2019 Jeffery Robinson, the deputy legal director at the ACLU, tells TIME the statement seems to suggest that Golphin should have been lynched. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Their Death Sentences Were Overturned Because of Racial Bias. Now North Carolina Might Leave Them Back on Death Row," 26 Aug. 2019 Most people in this country can't name a single African-American lynched between 1877 and 1950. David Morgan, CBS News, "Bryan Stevenson: "The North won the Civil War, but the South won the narrative war" on history of racism," 24 June 2019 But one of the men who was a child at the time and grew up in that little town said that my father had seen two black men lynched on his street. The New Yorker, "Toni Morrison on Her Last Novel and the Voices of Her Characters," 7 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.

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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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Statistics for lynch

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for lynch

The first known use of lynch was in 1835

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More Definitions for lynch


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

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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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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