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 murdering (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
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 An Anchorage man charged with criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter in his wife’s shooting death was indicted by grand jury Wednesday on two counts of murder. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man now indicted on murder charges in wife’s shooting death," 14 Nov. 2019 Prosecutors dismissed a charge of murder as part of the agreement. Andrew Clark, Indianapolis Star, "Man charged in fatal shooting of 1-year-old Malaysia Robson reaches plea agreement," 12 Nov. 2019 Khosrowshahi said of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, in a response to a question about Uber’s continued relationship with Saudi Arabia. Wired, "The Uber CEO's Mistaken Notion of What a Mistake Is," 11 Nov. 2019 According to authorities, Crawford’s roommate Jordyn Jones–who is also Brantley’s boyfriend—is also a suspect in her murder. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Alexis Crawford's Body Found As Police Suspect Roommate and Roommate's Boyfriend," 9 Nov. 2019 Thomas McMahon, a skilled bombmaker for the IRA, was the only person convicted of the murder. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Who Is Prince Philip's Uncle, Lord Mountbatten?," 7 Nov. 2019 Subsequently, American Sunday school primers, Bible mission tracts and popular novels recalled Jews’ complicity in the murder of Jesus and sought to convert them. Pamela S. Nadell, The Conversation, "Anti-Semitism in the US today is a variation on an old theme," 7 Nov. 2019 One of two murder suspects who escaped a central California jail over the weekend was believed to have been spotted at a motel on Tuesday but apparently managed to escape before police arrived, a report said. Fox News, "Escaped murder suspect apparently dodges police, exits motel hideout: cops," 6 Nov. 2019 Brandon Maurice Baker, 27, of White Bear Lake, and Marcus Anthony Baker, 33, of Woodbury, were booked Tuesday into the Ramsey County Jail on suspicion of murder, according to a Ramsey County Jail log. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, "Police arrest 2 brothers in fatal shooting of 28-year-old in St. Paul’s Summit-U last week," 6 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pam Hupp was a friend of Betsy Faria’s and drove Betsy home the night she was murdered. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, "Who's Who in The Thing About Pam," 17 Sep. 2019 She had not been seen or heard from since June 17, and authorities believe she was murdered at the time of her disappearance and dumped in a well. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "4th person jailed in brutal murder of Willoe Watkins," 15 Sep. 2019 He's murdered after he's pushed into the river by Alex while he's injured. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Here's How Season 3 Ended for Every Character in "13 Reasons Why"," 28 Aug. 2019 Before Childs could speak with her adviser, she was murdered. Fox News, "Virginia police renew investigation into decade-old double murder of teens with new reward," 25 Aug. 2019 Among the many memorable moments from season two of Pose is the funeral of Candy Ferocity, portrayed by actress Angelica Ross, after she is murdered and found in a hotel room. Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, "What Young LGBTQIA People of Color Are Saying About "Pose" Season 2," 21 Aug. 2019 Khashoggi never left the consulate; he was murdered and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad, which American and foreign intelligence agencies believe was sent to Turkey by the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Jamal Khashoggi’s Fiancée Speaks About Mourning and Freedom," 15 Aug. 2019 This low-budget effort about a man whose spirit enters the bodies of his friends after he's murdered certainly earns points for the daringness of its premise. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Every Time I Die': Film Review," 8 Aug. 2019 In 1935, her great uncle was working to unionize sharecroppers in Lowndes County when he was murdered as part of a mob killing. John Hammontree | Jhammontree@al.com, al.com, "Could a new monument heal Jefferson County’s racial divide?," 22 July 2019

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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Statistics for murder

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for murder

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

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More Definitions for murder

murder

noun
How to pronounce murder (audio)

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

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

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