[ dih-kap-i-teyt ]
/ dɪˈkæp ɪˌteɪt /

verb (used with object), de·cap·i·tat·ed, de·cap·i·tat·ing.

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 formsde·cap·i·ta·tion, nounde·cap·i·ta·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decapitate

British Dictionary definitions for decapitate


/ (dɪˈkæpɪˌteɪt) /


(tr) to behead
Derived Formsdecapitation, noundecapitator, noun

Word Origin for decapitate

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

Word Origin and History for 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