electrocute

[ih-lek-truh-kyoot]

verb (used with object), e·lec·tro·cut·ed, e·lec·tro·cut·ing.

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 formse·lec·tro·cu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for electrocution

Contemporary Examples of electrocution

  • Some of the stuff has been so shoddy and so sloppy that our soldiers are over there dying in the shower from electrocution.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ron Paul Dons 9/11 Truther Tin Foil

    Olivia Nuzzi

    August 31, 2014

Historical Examples of electrocution


British Dictionary definitions for electrocution

electrocute

verb (tr)

to kill as a result of an electric shock
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 electrocution
n.

1890; see electrocute + -ion. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1940.

electrocute

v.

"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