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

What starts as perfectly legal in the doctor’s office becomes a gateway to fentanyl, which is a completely murderous drug. Dan Adams,, "Bill Weld goes green," 16 Apr. 2018 Who brings their new, slightly murderous significant other home to meet their family and doesn’t prepare for conflict? Sarah Morse, Glamour, "Jon Snow's Biggest Mistakes on Game of Thrones," 30 Apr. 2019 Lastly, Saturday night, after yet another tragic day in America, with a murderous shooting in a California synagogue, the president once again vilified the fourth estate. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: “We’re Fighting All the Subpoenas!”," 28 Apr. 2019 Thus, his casting in the Epix series as a murderous thug breaking into movie-producing (insert Hollywood joke here) caught some off-guard – including O'Dowd himself. Michael Ordona,, "A manipulator, a thug and a killer, yes, but Chris O’Dowd in 'Get Shorty' is kind of lovable too," 17 May 2018 Defining immigrants as violent gangs or murderous thugs? Will Bunch,, "'Race Realism': How Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica modernized white supremacy to elect Trump | Will Bunch," 22 Mar. 2018 Americans would do well to ignore this toxic habit of political blame for murderous acts by the racist, anti-Semitic or mentally disturbed. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Oldest Hatred," 28 Oct. 2018 For unlike threats of old, mutually assured destruction is no deterrent, for the murderous martyr the more the merrier. Greg Gutfeld, Fox News, "Gutfeld on the 17th anniversary of 9/11," 12 Sep. 2018 Rodman was lambasted for these trips in the past, accused of being used as a tool for a murderous dictator. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The case of the curiously compelling Dennis Rodman-Chris Cuomo interview," 12 June 2018

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

25 May 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

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