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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-kap-i-teyt] /dɪˈkæp ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), decapitated, decapitating.
to cut off the head of; behead:
Many people were decapitated during the French Revolution.
Origin of decapitate
1605-15; < Late Latin dēcapitātus, past participle of dēcapitāre, equivalent to dē- de- + capit- (stem of caput) head + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
decapitation, noun
decapitator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for decapitation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had seen the "worship of Reason" established with the decapitation of seven thousand innocent citizens of France.

    The Golden Censer John McGovern
  • The manner of it was decapitation, the instrument a mowing machine.

  • During the Old Kingdom decapitation was the usual means of inflicting death.

  • "That must have been after the Queen's decapitation," said Berengaria.

    Endymion Benjamin Disraeli
  • He is the gentlest-natured fellow alive, but he feels a vicious pleasure in the decapitation of those yellow, harmless flowers.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for decapitation


(transitive) to behead
Derived Forms
decapitation, noun
decapitator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin dēcapitāre, from Latin de- + caput head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decapitation

1640s, from French décapitation, from Medieval Latin decapitationem (nominative decapitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin decapitare (see decapitate).



1610s, from French décapiter (14c.), from Late Latin decapitatus past participle of decapitare, from Latin de- "off" (see de-) + caput (genitive capitis) "head" (see capitulum). Related: Decapitated; decapitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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decapitation in Medicine

decapitation de·cap·i·ta·tion (dĭ-kāp'ĭ-tā'shən)
The removal of a head, as of an animal, a fetus, or a bone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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