• 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 garroting

Historical Examples

  • And they would know they were garroting a man, and not a weakling!

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo)

    Vicente Blasco Ibez

  • A "barbarous" whipping of the bare back was resorted to, and garroting subsided.

    The Galaxy


  • Mackenzie writhed and struggled, groping on the floor for something to strike Carlson with and break his garroting grip.

  • To the question about having assisted in garroting Squire Brooks, he first said, I didnt do it.

  • In Boston garroting was common, and was only checked by Judge Russell sentencing all such subjects to the full extent of the law.


    Martin Luther Holbrook

Word Origin and History for garroting



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