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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Little Rock police on Friday arrested a man who is charged with capital murder after Monday's fatal shooting just north of Mabelvale Cutoff Road, according to a tweet from the Little Rock Police Department. Grant Lancaster, Arkansas Online, 6 Aug. 2022 Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, who is charged with capital murder, corpse abuse and kidnapping. Christine Pelisek, Peoplemag, 5 Aug. 2022 Reyes was arrested and charged with capital murder for the April 2017 shooting death of a Corinth man, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported. Fox News, 5 Aug. 2022 Yaser Said, who had been sought on a capital murder warrant since the slayings, was placed on the FBI's most-wanted list. Chron, 5 Aug. 2022 José Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, was charged with kidnapping and multiple counts of capital murder in the slayings of what authorities said were the girl's 29-year-old mother and her son, who court records show was younger than 14. CBS News, 5 Aug. 2022 Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, 37, who is charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of corpse abuse and one count of kidnapping. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 4 Aug. 2022 Pascual-Reyes, 37, was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, three counts of capital murder, and two counts of abuse of corpse. Harold Maass, The Week, 4 Aug. 2022 Pascual-Reyes also faces three counts of capital murder and two counts of abuse of corpse, Abbett said in a news release. Chuck Johnston And Tina Burnside, CNN, 3 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, Calif., has been charged with attempting to murder a justice of the United States and has pleaded not guilty. Arkansas Online, 4 July 2022 The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, has been charged with attempting to murder a justice of the United States. CBS News, 2 July 2022 The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, Calif., has been charged with attempting to murder a justice of the United States and has pleaded not guilty. Sarah Rankin, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 Nancy’s group has made it to the attic where Vecna’s body hides while his mind is attempting to murder Max and do battle with Eleven. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 1 July 2022 Investigators said Akram expressed support for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist serving 86 years in a Texas prison for attempting to murder U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan more than a decade ago. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 17 Jan. 2022 Wednesday morning, the trial began for a Baltimore mother and a neighborhood man accused of attempting to murder Jayden over an argument among the girls. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Over the following three days, Gibson allegedly robbed and/or assaulted another three victims— allegedly attempting to murder one of them. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, 6 Aug. 2021 If convicted of attempting to murder an officer, he would be required to serve 100% of the prison sentence imposed and not be eligible for parole. Ryan J. Foley, Star Tribune, 22 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for murder

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near murder

murciana

murder

murderee

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Statistics for murder

Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Murder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/murder. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for murder

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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