\ 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 Two found that the number of black people lynched in a U.S. county 100 years ago influences whether white people in the same area today perceive black people as a threat and favor harsh punishments for them. Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Science | AAAS, "Quintet of study retractions rocks criminology community," 26 Nov. 2019 Two cowboys, one of them the book’s narrator, drift into Bridger’s Wells, Nev., in 1885, where they’re swept up in a posse set on lynching a gang of cattle rustlers. WSJ, "Five Best: Christopher Knowlton on Westerns," 19 July 2018 The comment made Mississippi's history of lynching a central theme in the campaign. NBC News, "Democrat Mike Espy starts 2020 U.S. Senate bid in Mississippi," 13 Nov. 2019 The comment made Mississippi’s history of lynching a central theme in the campaign. Washington Post, "Democrat Mike Espy starts 2020 US Senate bid in Mississippi," 12 Nov. 2019 Freed inmates lynched and beat Jews who, as ghetto policemen, had surrendered them and their family members to the Nazis or who, as kapos in concentration camps, had harassed or abused them. Dan Porat, Time, "How Israel’s Justice System Dealt With Alleged Jewish Collaborators in Concentration Camps—And Why That Still Matters Today," 25 Oct. 2019 Last week, two children were reportedly lynched for defecating in the open. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Blow Out the Candles: China at 70 — The Loop," 1 Oct. 2019 In 1917, two more black men were lynched for talking back to a white farmer. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Lowndes County, Ala.: The Place God Forgot," 27 Apr. 2018 Between 1882 and the height of the civil rights movement nearly a century later, more than 3,440 African-Americans were lynched in the U.S., according to the NAACP's website. Hannah Sparling,, "Mason teacher in 'lynch' controversy put on administrative leave," 13 Jan. 2018

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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Time Traveler for lynch

Time Traveler

The first known use of lynch was in 1835

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Statistics for lynch

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Lynch.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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

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delight or enjoyment

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