[ 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 forms

de·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 decapitation

British Dictionary definitions for decapitation


/ (dɪˈkæpɪˌteɪt) /


(tr) to behead

Derived Forms

decapitation, 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

Medicine definitions for decapitation


[ dĭ-kăp′ĭ-tāshən ]


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.