murder

noun
mur·​der | \ ˈmər-dər How to pronounce murder (audio) \

Definition of murder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought was convicted of murder
2a : something very difficult or dangerous the traffic was murder carrying the luggage was murder on my back
b : something outrageous or blameworthy getting away with murder
3 : a flock of crows There's a reason the proper term for a flock of them is a murder of crows, and it's not because we like having them around.— Jeffrey Kluger

murder

verb
murdered; murdering\ ˈmər-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce murder (audio) \

Definition of murder (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to kill (a human being) unlawfully and with premeditated malice
2 : to slaughter wantonly : slay
3a : to put an end to
b : tease, torment
c : mutilate, mangle murders French
d : to defeat badly

intransitive verb

: to commit murder

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Synonyms & Antonyms for murder

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for murder

Verb

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner. killed in an accident frost killed the plants slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive. slew thousands of the Philistines murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility. convicted of murdering a rival assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives. terrorists assassinated the Senator dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death. dispatched the sentry with one bullet execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty. executed by lethal gas

Examples of murder in a Sentence

Noun She was accused of murder. the mass murder of civilians in wartime a string of unsolved murders Traffic is murder this time of day. Verb He was arrested and accused of murdering his wife. His wife was found murdered. a dictator who is responsible for murdering thousands of innocent people The band murdered that song.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kyshone Jackson, 45, was arrested on eight charges Monday including first-degree murder, criminal possession of a pistol or a revolver and carrying a pistol without a permit, police said. Christine Dempsey, courant.com, 13 July 2021 Cabrera, 86, is charged with first-degree murder in the June 4 death of Combass, 67, at the Belle Glade headquarters of Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida. Marc Freeman, sun-sentinel.com, 12 July 2021 On May 25, the anniversary of Floyd’s murder, school board members for Connecticut’s Easton, Redding and Region 9 district debated over Zoom until 2 a.m. on whether to endorse a statement committing to equity and diversity. NBC News, 12 July 2021 Butler faces murder, armed home invasion, and other charges in the slaying of Erin Fitzgibbon, 30, of Everett, who was shot in the head at a home on Malden’s Fairmont Street Tuesday morning. BostonGlobe.com, 8 July 2021 She was returned to Oregon this month and faces first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and first-degree theft charges. oregonlive, 8 July 2021 Heard was originally charged with murder, armed robbery, robbery and armed violence, the first charge tied to Slater’s death by way of the state’s accountability statute, prosecutors at the time said. Courier-news Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, 8 July 2021 With detective stories, the conceit is that the deconstruction of a violent murder — the grislier the better — followed by the meting out of justice equates to a vindication of the social order. Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 Brunson and Thrope have each been charged with murder and aggravated robbery, first-degree felonies; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 7 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This is even more critical when police are allowed to brutalize someone unjustifiably or murder people in the streets. Edward Segal, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Jose Sifuentes, 43, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder charges in the deaths of 23-year-old Erica Hernandez, 27-year-old Veronica Hernandez and 20-year-old Maria Perales. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 13 May 2021 Le-Nguyen was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do bodily harm and two firearms charges. Asha C. Gilbert, Detroit Free Press, 11 June 2021 Le-Nguyen was charged with assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to do bodily harm and two firearms charges. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 10 June 2021 Courtney Mallory, 30, of Worcester, was arrested at the scene and charged with armed assault to murder. BostonGlobe.com, 25 May 2021 The film stars Tura Satana as the leader of a group of go-go dancing hot-rodders, who drive and murder their way through Death Valley. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 24 May 2021 Paragon and his young allies find the bylaws old-fashioned and dangerous, particularly the one about never killing your enemies, no matter how many people the bad guys might murder as a result. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 7 May 2021 In the film, Russian operatives break into Kelly's home and murder his pregnant wife (Lauren London) after his involvement in a secret military plan against them. Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, 29 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'murder.' 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 murder

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for murder

Noun and Verb

partly from Middle English murther, from Old English morthor; partly from Middle English murdre, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English morthor; akin to Old High German mord murder, Latin mort-, mors death, mori to die, mortuus dead, Greek brotos mortal

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Learn More About murder

Time Traveler for murder

Time Traveler

The first known use of murder was before the 12th century

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Statistics for murder

Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Murder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/murder. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for murder

murder

noun

English Language Learners Definition of murder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the crime of deliberately killing a person
informal : something that is very difficult or unpleasant

murder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of murder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kill (a person) in a deliberate and unlawful way : to commit the murder of (someone)
: to spoil or ruin (something) : to perform (something) very badly
: to defeat (an opponent) very badly

murder

noun
mur·​der | \ ˈmər-dər How to pronounce murder (audio) \

Kids Definition of murder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the intentional and unlawful killing of a human being

murder

verb
murdered; murdering

Kids Definition of murder (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to kill (someone) intentionally and unlawfully
2 : to spoil or ruin by performing or using badly murder a song

Other Words from murder

murderer noun

murder

noun
mur·​der | \ ˈmər-dər How to pronounce murder (audio) \

Legal Definition of murder

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the crime of unlawfully and unjustifiably killing another under circumstances defined by statute (as with premeditation) especially : such a crime committed purposely, knowingly, and recklessly with extreme indifference to human life or during the course of a serious felony (as robbery or rape) — compare cold blood, cooling time, homicide, manslaughter

Note: Self-defense, necessity, and lack of capacity for criminal responsibility (as because of insanity) are defenses to a charge of murder. Most state statutes and the U.S. Code divide murder into two degrees. Florida, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania currently have three degrees of murder. Some states do not assign degrees of murder.

depraved-heart murder \ di-​ˈprāvd-​ˈhärt-​ \
: a murder that is the result of an act which is dangerous to others and shows that the perpetrator has a depraved mind and no regard for human life

Note: Depraved-heart murder is usually considered second- or third-degree murder.

felony murder
: a murder that occurs in the commission of a serious felony (as burglary or sexual battery) — compare misdemeanor-manslaughter at manslaughter

Note: Felony murder is usually considered first-degree murder. Felony murder does not require specific intent to kill, and an accessory to the felony may also be charged with the murder.

first-degree murder
: a murder that is committed with premeditation or during the course of a serious felony (as kidnapping) or that otherwise (as because of extreme cruelty) requires the most serious punishment under the law
second-degree murder
: a murder that is committed without premeditation but with some intent (as general or transferred intent) or other circumstances not covered by the first-degree murder statute
third-degree murder
: a murder that is not first- or second-degree murder: as
a : a murder committed in the perpetration of a felony not listed in the first-degree murder statute
b : depraved-heart murder in this entry

murder

transitive verb

Legal Definition of murder (Entry 2 of 2)

: to kill (a human being) unlawfully and under circumstances constituting murder

intransitive verb

: to commit murder

History and Etymology for murder

Noun

partly from Old English morthor; partly from Old French murdre, of Germanic origin

More from Merriam-Webster on murder

Nglish: Translation of murder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of murder for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about murder

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