mur·​der·​ous | \ˈmər-d(ə-)rəs \

Definition of murderous 

1a : having the purpose or capability of murder

b : characterized by or causing murder or bloodshed

2 : having the ability or power to overwhelm : devastating murderous heat

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Other Words from murderous

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

Another highlight: Madelaine Petsch is of course playing the teenage Penelope Blossom, and playing her murderous-husband-to-be Clifford? Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "See the Riverdale Cast Playing Their Parents In The Halloween Flashback Episode," 18 Oct. 2018 In theaters, audiences got a taste of a murderous coven masquerading as a ballet company in Dakota Johnson-starrer Suspiria. Kelsea Stahler, Teen Vogue, "The Resurgence of Witches in Pop Culture Like Sabrina, AHS "Coven," and "Charmed" Reflects Women in the Real World," 14 Nov. 2018 Trump allied himself with the cops over the protesters, warned of the murderous gangs sweeping through urban America, and called for a total ban on Muslim travel to and from the country. Ezra Klein, Vox, "How identity politics elected Donald Trump," 5 Nov. 2018 Honduras is largely dominated by murderous gangs that prey on families and businesses, and routinely sees homicide rates that are among the highest in the world. Fox News, "Honduran migrant caravan crosses Guatemala border, US-bound," 15 Oct. 2018 And the notion that Islam can provide all the answers has hit a dead end, whether in the form of strict but obedient Saudi salafism, the political Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood or the murderous jihadism of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The Economist, "Waiting for the backlashCan Muhammad bin Salman’s gamble work?," 21 June 2018 China has signed up to unprecedented sanctions on North Korea, curbing its coal trade with that murderous regime. The Economist, "Decades of optimism about China’s rise have been discarded," 1 Mar. 2018 Elsewhere, Emily is also rebelling against the confines of Gilead – only her intentions are more murderous., "The Handmaid's Tale Recap Season 2, Episode 13: The Martha Express," 11 July 2018 The next most murderous are monkey and lemur species, followed by sea lions. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "The world’s most murderous mammal is probably not what you think it is," 30 Sep. 2016

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

1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for murderous

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for murderous

The first known use of murderous was in 1535

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More Definitions for murderous



English Language Learners Definition of murderous

: very violent or deadly

: very angry

: very harsh or severe


mur·​der·​ous | \ˈmər-də-rəs \

Kids Definition of murderous

1 : intending or capable of causing murder : deadly a murderous attack

2 : very hard to bear or withstand murderous heat

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Comments on murderous

What made you want to look up murderous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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