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See more synonyms for executioner on Thesaurus.com
  1. an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant.
  2. a person who executes an act, will, judgment, etc.
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Origin of executioner

First recorded in 1555–65; execution + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for executioner

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper