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[ih-lek-truh-kyoot] /ɪˈlɛk trəˌkyut/
verb (used with object), electrocuted, electrocuting.
to kill by electricity.
to execute (a criminal) by electricity, as in an electric chair.
Origin of electrocute
An Americanism dating back to 1885-90; electro- + (exe)cute
Related forms
electrocution, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for electrocuted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No man was ever electrocuted for not knowing, and that's just where I am.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Both men were electrocuted, and the formula is still a secret.

    Advanced Chemistry Jack G. Huekels
  • He caught my arm rudely, but had scarcely touched it than I sprang up as if electrocuted, almost upsetting him.

    The Secrets of a Kuttite Edward O. Mousley
  • "I believe you would be cheerful if you were going to be electrocuted," she said, pensively.

    The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy
  • The flower of Diana's eloquence suddenly withered and dried up as if electrocuted.

British Dictionary definitions for electrocuted


verb (transitive)
to kill as a result of an electric shock
(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 electrocuted



"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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