[guh-rot, -roht]

noun, verb (used with object), gar·rot·ted, gar·rot·ting.

Related formsgar·rot·ter, noun


or ga·rote, ga·rotte, gar·rotte

[guh-roht, -rot]


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.

verb (used with object), gar·rot·ed, gar·rot·ing.

to execute by the garrote.
to strangle or throttle, especially in the course of a robbery.

Origin of garrote

1615–25; < Spanish garrote or French garrot packing-stick < ?
Related formsgar·rot·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for garrotte

Historical Examples of garrotte

  • Better it had not missed us,” said I, after a pause; “we are only spared for the garrotte.

    The Rifle Rangers

    Captain Mayne Reid

  • Was this or was it not your last chance to escape the garrotte?'

    The Dictator

    Justin McCarthy

  • Should they succeed, it will be the garrotte on the throat of English liberty.

  • I should call out to you though they had the garrotte at my neck.

    A Volunteer with Pike

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • My last request was to see the garrotte; but it was refused me.

    To Cuba and Back

    Richard Henry Dana

British Dictionary definitions for garrotte


garrote or garotte


a Spanish method of execution by strangulation or by breaking the neck
the device, usually an iron collar, used in such executions
obsolete strangulation of one's victim while committing robbery

verb (tr)

to execute by means of the garrotte
to strangle, esp in order to commit robbery
Derived Formsgarrotter, garroter or garotter, noun

Word Origin for garrotte

C17: from Spanish garrote, perhaps from Old French garrot cudgel; of obscure origin
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 garrotte



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper