pre·​med·​i·​ta·​tion | \ (ˌ)prē-ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce premeditation (audio) \

Definition of premeditation

: an act or instance of premeditating specifically : consideration or planning of an act beforehand that shows intent to commit that act

Examples of premeditation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The complaint alleges that Coklas killed with intent but without premeditation, and lists no motive for the shooting. Star Tribune, "Andover man charged with murder in shooting outside Coon Rapids' Cub Foods," 26 Nov. 2020 For those kinds of charges to be brought, prosecutors look for premeditation and motive to kill. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Will a 15-year-old arrested in the Mayfair mall shooting face charges in adult court? It depends.," 23 Nov. 2020 How much premeditation can take place in nine minutes? Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Defund the police? Defend the police? (6/14/20)," 14 June 2020 Second-degree murder does not require proof of premeditation and deliberation. Harriet Sokmensuer,, "N.C. Teen Was Fatally Stabbed by Younger Brother: Mom Says Slain Daughter 'Will Always Be My Hero'," 9 Sep. 2020 Following a review of that account, Zuckerberg said Facebook couldn’t see any signs of premeditation or discussion that revealed Rittenhouse's plans to open fire. Danielle Abril, Fortune, "Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook made an ‘operational mistake’ with Kenosha militia group," 28 Aug. 2020 Under Minnesota law, a person who causes the death of a human being with premeditation and with intent to effect the death of the person is guilty of first-degree murder. Doug Friednash, The Denver Post, "Friednash: Why George Floyd’s killer should face first-degree murder charges," 7 June 2020 Ellison explained Wednesday after the charges were announced that first-degree murder would require proving premeditation, which the facts do not support at the moment. NBC News, "3 more Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd death, Derek Chauvin charges elevated," 29 May 2020 But first-degree murder also requires premeditation, which, in Chauvin’s case, was not apparent. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "How the Charges Against Derek Chauvin Fit Into a Vision of Criminal-Justice Reform," 17 June 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of premeditation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Premeditation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for premeditation


pre·​med·​i·​ta·​tion | \ pri-ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce premeditation (audio) \

Legal Definition of premeditation

: an act or instance of premeditating specifically : consideration or planning of an act beforehand designed so that it requires premeditation to tamper with it murder in the first degree is the killing of a human being committed…intentionally and with premeditation Kansas Statutes Annotated — see also cold blood, murder — compare intent

Note: The terms premeditation malice aforethought deliberate, and willful are often used in statutes either along with or instead of intent to describe the necessary mental state for a crime. In some jurisdictions the premeditation has to occur only moments before the act, while in others it must precede the act by an appreciable amount of time.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for premeditation

Nglish: Translation of premeditation for Spanish Speakers

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