Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

garrote

or ga·rote, ga·rotte, gar·rotte

[guh-roht, -rot]
See more synonyms for garrote on Thesaurus.com
noun
  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.
Show More
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.
Show More

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

Examples from the Web for garroter

Historical Examples

  • "I know the way," whispered the garroter, and a few gathered around him.

    The Wreck of the Titan

    Morgan Robertson

  • In his youth he had been a highwayman, and probably a garroter.

    The Popham Colony

    William Frederick Poole

  • A garroter lay on the roof ready to entangle me with his noose if I should escape the dagger of the old hag.

    Dracula's Guest

    Bram Stoker

  • He was a garroter by profession, accustomed to rely upon his fists only for the exchange of amenities.

  • He is a harmless enough fellow, Parker by name, a garroter by trade, and a remarkable performer upon the Jew's harp.


Word Origin and History for garroter

garrote

n.

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]
Show More

garrote

v.

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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper