mur·​der·​ous | \ ˈmər-d(ə-)rəs How to pronounce murderous (audio) \

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

Drastic climate change and murderous famines, experts say, likely helped drive the first pulses of humans out of Africa. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A storyteller chronicles the mass migrations that define our age," 17 July 2019 Name another show that includes a murderous unicorn, a Bollywood musical number set in Regency-era England, and a demonic nipple. Ew Staff,, "Emmys 2019: EW picks the dark-horse contenders who deserve nominations," 12 July 2019 Those murderous off-duty LAPD officers sure are hilarious. Katie Walsh,, "‘Stuber’ review: Skip this ride starring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista," 11 July 2019 Those murderous off-duty LAPD officers sure are hilarious. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "Billed an action comedy, ‘Stuber’ is more like a cinematic car wreck," 11 July 2019 Far-right militancy is resurgent in Germany, in ways that are new and very old, horrifying a country that prides itself on dealing honestly with its murderous past. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "A Political Murder and Far-Right Terrorism: Germany’s New Hateful Reality," 7 July 2019 The show kicks the movie's murderous plot into overdrive while candy-coating some of the edginess in sentiment. Lee Williams | For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "‘Heathers: The Musical’ puts Generation X nostalgia front and center," 24 June 2019 Three months of texts between Barbara and Cron revealed their murderous plot. Matt Goldfarb, CBS News, "Investigation of airman's brutal murder in Japan uncovers deception, fraud and witchcraft," 19 June 2019 This Child's Play does add an interesting nature versus nurture argument, with Chucky learning much of his murderous nature from TV and bullies — could these dolls be taught to be good? Rosie Knight, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'Child's Play' Sets Up a Sci-Fi Sequel," 22 June 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce murderous (audio) \

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).


to complain fretfully

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