\ 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

Recent Examples on the Web The story follows a Black man who saves a white woman amid natural disaster—and still ends up having to fear that her family will lynch him afterward. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Who Wants to Watch Black Pain?," 17 Apr. 2021 The white men drag Henry into the basement and attempt to lynch him in front of his daughters. Ariana Romero,, "Them’s Finale Loses The Thread & Then Sets It On Fire," 11 Apr. 2021 What will those historians know about the lasting consequences of the 2020 Presidential election, which culminated with the incumbent candidate inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol and threaten to lynch his adversaries? Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "Among the Insurrectionists," 15 Jan. 2021 When the teacher pleaded his innocence, the district governor beat him with a tree branch and threatened to lynch him by dragging his body from a motorbike around the village. Washington Post, "How life under Taliban rule in Afghanistan has changed — and how it hasn’t," 29 Dec. 2020 People have threatened to come by and lynch me, decapitate me. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Dominion Voting Systems CEO confirms defamation suits against conservative operatives will be coming," 24 Dec. 2020 Perry was arrested but the mob broke him out of jail, in order to lynch him. National Geographic, "Descendants of an Election Day massacre reflect 100 years later," 5 Nov. 2020 Then, that August, renegades kidnapped and prepared to lynch one of Mulholland’s accomplices, Leicester Hall, an attorney and the treasurer of the Owens River Canal Company. Yxta Maya Murray, Longreads, "Fire/Flood: A Southern California Pastoral," 19 Aug. 2020 The report says that while a group of Black men offered to protect the jail from White mobs that were threatening to lynch Thomas, police ordered them to disperse. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "In a summer of racial protests, Alexandria remembers a young lynching victim," 7 Aug. 2020

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

after lynch law

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Statistics for lynch

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lynch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on lynch

Nglish: Translation of lynch for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lynch for Arabic Speakers

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