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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for electrocuted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was all so like death, this disappearance—as if he had thrown the switch that electrocuted a man.

    The Radiant Shell Paul Ernst
  • Both men were electrocuted, and the formula is still a secret.

    Advanced Chemistry Jack G. Huekels
  • Why, a man in the States would be electrocuted on half the evidence.

    The Green Mummy Fergus Hume
  • No man was ever electrocuted for not knowing, and that's just where I am.

    T. Tembarom Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • "I believe you would be cheerful if you were going to be electrocuted," she said, pensively.

    The Pillar of Light Louis Tracy
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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