Dictionary.com

euthanasia

[ yoo-thuh-ney-zhuh, -zhee-uh, -zee-uh ]
/ ˌyu θəˈneɪ ʒə, -ʒi ə, -zi ə /
Save This Word!

noun

Also called mercy killing. the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition.
painless death.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of euthanasia

1640–50; <New Latin <Greek euthanasía an easy death, equivalent to eu-eu- + thánat(os) death + -ia-y3
eu·tha·na·si·ast [yoo-thuh-ney-zee-ast], /ˌyu θəˈneɪ ziˌæst/, nouneu·tha·na·sic [yoo-thuh-ney-zik], /ˌyu θəˈneɪ zɪk/, adjectivepro·eu·tha·na·sia, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for euthanasia

euthanasia
/ (ˌjuːθəˈneɪzɪə) /

noun

the act of killing someone painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illnessAlso called: mercy killing
C17: via New Latin from Greek: easy death, from eu- + thanatos death
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

Medical definitions for euthanasia

euthanasia
[ yōō′thə-nāzhə ]

n.

The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.
A quiet, painless death.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for euthanasia

euthanasia
[ yōō′thə-nāzhə ]

The act or practice of painlessly ending the life of an animal or a willing individual who has a terminal illness or incurable condition, as by giving a lethal drug.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for euthanasia

euthanasia
[ (yooh-thuh-nay-zhuh) ]

Painlessly putting someone to death — usually someone with an incurable and painful disease; mercy killing.

Proposals to make euthanasia legal in the United States have inspired heated debate.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
What's This Word?