mur·​der·​ous ˈmər-d(ə-)rəs How to pronounce murderous (audio)
: having the purpose or capability of murder
: characterized by or causing murder or bloodshed
: having the ability or power to overwhelm : devastating
murderous heat
murderously adverb
murderousness noun

Examples of murderous in a Sentence

I can't stand this murderous heat. The lead runner set a murderous pace.
Recent Examples on the Web The civil war and genocide generated millions of displaced people, many of whom accompanied the murderous government into neighboring countries as the RPF advanced. Jonathan M. Hansen, TIME, 7 Apr. 2024 Alongside Winnie, the film will feature murderous version of figures including Bambi, Tinkerbell, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Tigger, Piglet, The Mad Hatter and Sleeping Beauty. Alex Ritman, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 When music chronicling murderous street life and sexist violence began to get radio play, the labels gave in and started signing gangsta rap artists. Amy Dubois Barnett, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Bush, Kebbel, Ashanti and Brittany Snow all played love interests of high school jock John, teaming up to take murderous revenge on him. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 26 Mar. 2024 Hunter told the story of Harry Powell, a murderous ex-con who takes up the identity of a preacher in order to do his misdeeds. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Mar. 2024 Gentrification has largely wiped away the open-air drug markets that proliferated during the murderous crack epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s. Emily Davies, Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2024 Governor Brown had previously signed into law a major narrowing of murderous acts which qualify one for the death penalty here, and ordered the dismantling of Oregon’s execution chamber. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 12 Mar. 2024 One of the great questions in criminology is why European societies have become less murderous through time. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'murderous.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of murderous was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near murderous

Cite this Entry

“Murderous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mur·​der·​ous ˈmərd-(ə-)rəs How to pronounce murderous (audio)
: intending or capable of causing murder or bloodshed : deadly
murderous machine-gun fire
: very difficult to bear or withstand
a murderous glance
murderous heat
murderously adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on murderous

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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