pre·​med·​i·​ta·​tion (ˌ)prē-ˌme-də-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce premeditation (audio)
: 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 Prosecutors argued the premeditation of Crumbley’s attack was justification for a finite life sentence. Lauren Del Valle, CNN, 29 Sep. 2023 Jurors convicted Matarazzo, after a 16-day trial, of murder in the first degree with deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, court records show. Tonya Alanez,, 8 Aug. 2023 To Davis, Savages’s premeditation and plans were clear. Dan Morse, Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2023 Prosecutors argued the pair’s decision to use a friend’s ID to buy the murder weapons days before the shooting and then hide the guns in a car showed premeditation. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 17 July 2023 Budd and Stuart were the point men in gathering the footage and organizing it into two coherent motion picture narratives — the first, a chronicle of the horrors of the concentration camps; the second, a historical account of the premeditation and malice aforethought in the Nazi crime wave. Thomas Doherty, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Feb. 2023 Without any premeditation, Breitwieser takes advantage of the moment—the melee, the rubbernecking, the guards all flocking to the scene—to nick an extremely valuable Renaissance painting. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, 19 June 2023 Loyd's actions leading up to the shooting were evidence of premeditation, prosecutors argued. Gregory Lemos and Kay Jones, CNN, 8 Dec. 2021 The charge of first-degree murder requires the state to prove the element of specific intent to commit the crime with premeditation and deliberation beyond a reasonable doubt. Harriet Sokmensuer,, 9 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'premeditation.' 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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near premeditation

Cite this Entry

“Premeditation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on premeditation

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