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2017 Word of the Year

electrocute

[ih-lek-truh-kyoot] /ɪˈlɛk trəˌkyut/
verb (used with object), electrocuted, electrocuting.
1.
to kill by electricity.
2.
to execute (a criminal) by electricity, as in an electric chair.
Origin of electrocute
1885-1890
An Americanism dating back to 1885-90; electro- + (exe)cute
Related forms
electrocution, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for electrocute
Historical Examples
  • The man in the control room had frustrated the attempt to electrocute us.

    Spacewrecked on Venus Neil R. Jones
  • And if you make any sudden moves you are liable to break a phone, electrocute yourself, or choke to death.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • I've gone through horrors, and the secrets I know could put dozens of people in prison, if not electrocute them.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • If the victim dies, please find out for me whether they behead, hang, or electrocute in Japan for capital punishment.

    A Yankee in the Far East George Hoyt Allen
  • And if you make any sudden moves you are liable to break a phone, electrocute yourself or choke to death.

    Sense of Obligation Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
  • We electrocute the Italian and print pictures of the wheat speculator in our magazines as an example of Success.

    The Root of Evil

    Thomas Dixon
British Dictionary definitions for electrocute

electrocute

/ɪˈlɛktrəˌkjuːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to kill as a result of an electric shock
2.
(US) to execute in the electric chair
Derived Forms
electrocution, noun
Word Origin
C19: from electro- + (exe)cute
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 electrocute
v.

"execute by electricity," 1889, American English, from electro- + back half of execute. The method first was used Aug. 6, 1890, in New York state, on William Kemmler, convicted of the murder of his common-law wife. Sense involving accidental death is first recorded 1909. Electric chair is also first recorded 1889, which is when the first one was introduced in New York state as a humane alternative to hanging. Related: Electrocuted; electrocuting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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