• synonyms


or ga·rote, ga·rotte, gar·rotte

[guh-roht, -rot]
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  1. 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.
  2. the collarlike instrument used for this method of execution.
  3. strangulation or throttling, especially in the course of a robbery.
  4. an instrument, usually a cord or wire with handles attached at the ends, used for strangling a victim.
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verb (used with object), gar·rot·ed, gar·rot·ing.
  1. to execute by the garrote.
  2. to strangle or throttle, especially in the course of a robbery.
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Origin of garrote

1615–25; < Spanish garrote or French garrot packing-stick < ?
Related formsgar·rot·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for garroted

Historical Examples

  • On returning that evening from the theatre he is garroted and robbed of all he has with him.

    Lippincott's Magazine, December 1878


  • Most of them was garroted, and a few was condemned to work on the roads for life.

  • Art, now in its very birth in his heart and life, was to be garroted.

  • He was garroted at Havana, being refused the honorable death of a soldier.


    Arthur D. Hall

  • It fell upon me; I was seized, garroted, gagged, and guarded by the police.

    A Start in Life

    Honore de Balzac

Word Origin and History for garroted



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]
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"to execute with a garrote," 1851, from garrote (n.); sense of "choke and then rob" is from 1852. Related: Garotted; garotting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper