an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant.
a person who executes an act, will, judgment, etc.

Origin of executioner

First recorded in 1555–65; execution + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for executioner

killer, garroter, strangler, lyncher

Examples from the Web for executioner

Contemporary Examples of executioner

Historical Examples of executioner

  • Executioner of thy country, read the decree of thy punishment!


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

  • “Oh, by a new method, which I have invented myself,” declared the Executioner.

  • St. Bartholomew and the Executioner with the knife to fulfil the martyr.

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • Lafemas looked at the Governor, and the Governor at the Executioner, and so round.

    Richelieu, v. 2/3

    G. P. R. James

  • For what's the object of being an Executioner if one can't execute?

British Dictionary definitions for executioner



an official charged with carrying out the death sentence passed upon a condemned person
an assassin, esp one appointed by a political or criminal organization
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 executioner

"headsman," 1560s; "one who carries into effect," 1590s; agent noun from execution.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper