or ga·rote, ga·rotte, gar·rotte
- a method of capital punishment of Spanish origin in which an iron collar is tightened around a condemned person's neck until death occurs by strangulation or by injury to the spinal column at the base of the brain.
- the collarlike instrument used for this method of execution.
- strangulation or throttling, especially in the course of a robbery.
- an instrument, usually a cord or wire with handles attached at the ends, used for strangling a victim.
- to execute by the garrote.
- to strangle or throttle, especially in the course of a robbery.
Origin of garrote
also garrotte, 1620s, "Spanish method of capital punishment by strangulation," from Spanish garrote "stick for twisting cord," of unknown origin, perhaps from Old French guaroc "club, stick, rod, shaft of a crossbow," probably ultimately Celtic, but possibly from Frankish *wrokkan "to twist" (cf. Middle Dutch wroken "to twist").
I have no hesitation in pronouncing death by the garrot, at once the most manly, and the least offensive to the eye. [Major John Richardson, "British Legion," 1837]
"to execute with a garrote," 1851, from garrote (n.); sense of "choke and then rob" is from 1852. Related: Garotted; garotting.