- to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.
Origin of lynch
Examples from the Web for lynchers
Contemporary Examples of lynchers
Now the lynchers are black and have replaced hemp with hot lead.A Rage in Oakland
January 9, 2009
Historical Examples of lynchers
Frank had believed them lynchers, and he thought them lynchers as they bore him away.
The lynchers had arrived, and they were hammering on the door.
The lynchers of Bud and Foresta were to be tried, but that was not what excited their interest.The Hindered Hand
Sutton E. Griggs
Then the lynchers returned to their luxurious cars and procured their rifles.The Centralia Conspiracy
The lynchers raised their rifles and emptied them, but not at the house.Injun and Whitey to the Rescue
William S. Hart
- (tr) (of a mob) to punish (a person) for some supposed offence by hanging without a trial
Word Origin for lynch
- David. born 1946, US film director; his work includes the films Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), Mulholland Drive (2001), and Inland Empire (2006), and the television series Twin Peaks (1990)
- John, known as Jack Lynch. 1917–99, Irish statesman; prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1966–73; 1977–79)
1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Virginia, who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-1796) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of focus to "extralegal execution by hanging" is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is perhaps from Irish Loingseach "sailor." Cf. earlier Lydford law, from a place in Dartmoor, England, "where was held a Stannaries Court of summary jurisdiction" [Weekley], hence:
Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards. [Thomas Blount, "Glossographia," 1656]
Related: Lynched; lynching.