verb (used with object), e·lec·tro·cut·ed, e·lec·tro·cut·ing.
  1. to kill by electricity.
  2. 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 formse·lec·tro·cu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for electrocuted


Examples from the Web for electrocuted

Contemporary Examples of electrocuted

Historical Examples of electrocuted

  • It was all so like death, this disappearance—as if he had thrown the switch that electrocuted a man.

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for electrocuted


verb (tr)
  1. to kill as a result of an electric shock
  2. US to execute in the electric chair
Derived Formselectrocution, noun

Word Origin for electrocute

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

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