- Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).
- Slang. something extremely difficult or perilous: That final exam was murder!
- a group or flock of crows.
- Law. to kill by an act constituting murder.
- to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.
- to spoil or mar by bad performance, representation, pronunciation, etc.: The tenor murdered the aria.
- to commit murder.
- get away with murder, Informal. to engage in a deplorable activity without incurring harm or punishment: The new baby-sitter lets the kids get away with murder.
- murder will out, a secret will eventually be exposed.
- yell/scream bloody murder,
- to scream loudly in pain, fear, etc.
- to protest loudly and angrily: If I don't get a good raise I'm going to yell bloody murder.
Origin of murder
Related Words for murderhomicide, lynching, massacre, felony, crime, destruction, bloodshed, shooting, manslaughter, assassination, terrorism, shoot, execute, slay, slaughter, butcher, exterminate, destroy, assassinate, behead
Examples from the Web for murder
Contemporary Examples of murder
Murder, suicide, illness, old age: These deaths stalk us all, but in prison, they collect us so much more cheaply.A Million Ways to Die in Prison
December 8, 2014
Murder, violent crime, unemployment, and taxes all rose dramatically under his stewardship.The Ugly Truth About Cory Booker, New Jersey’s Golden Boy
October 20, 2014
In Shondaland—where Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder live—gays are sexy, complicated, and flawed.How to Get Away With Gayness: Shonda Rhimes Kills TV’s Sex Stereotypes
September 25, 2014
Murder Boner” is a great one: “The thought of extinguishing a human life really makes me aroused.Inside the Mind of ‘The League’s Rafi: Jason Mantzoukas and Seth Rogen on TV’s Craziest Dude
September 25, 2014
Murder, drugs, and arson are mercifully absent from his story but many things are different than before.A Teacher Returns to the Classroom and Gets Schooled
September 1, 2014
Historical Examples of murder
Murder had been done and Joe was the boy I was going to pin it on.Arm of the Law
In that case he'd double back and come past Murder Point, trying to get out.
Murder would promptly be done, if he knew anything of the American.The Night Riders
In one thing only were they united—in their desire to see the last of Murder Point.
Murder—at least the type we're concerned with—is a form of release, you know.We're Friends, Now
- (also intr) to kill (someone) unlawfully with premeditation or during the commission of a crime
- to kill brutally
- informal to destroy; ruinhe murdered her chances of happiness
- informal to defeat completely; beat decisivelythe home team murdered their opponents
Word Origin for murder
c.1300, murdre, from Old English morðor (plural morþras) "secret killing of a person, unlawful killing," also "mortal sin, crime; punishment, torment, misery," from Proto-Germanic *murthra- (cf. Goth maurþr, and, from a variant form of the same root, Old Saxon morth, Old Frisian morth, Old Norse morð, Middle Dutch moort, Dutch moord, German Mord "murder"), from PIE *mrtro-, from root *mer- "to die" (see mortal (adj.)). The spelling with -d- probably reflects influence of Anglo-French murdre, from Old French mordre, from Medieval Latin murdrum, from the Germanic root.
Viking custom, typical of Germanic, distinguished morð (Old Norse) "secret slaughter," from vig (Old Norse) "slaying." The former involved concealment, or slaying a man by night or when asleep, and was a heinous crime. The latter was not a disgrace, if the killer acknowledged his deed, but he was subject to vengeance or demand for compensation.
Mordre wol out that se we day by day. [Chaucer, "Nun's Priest's Tale," c.1386]
Weakened sense of "very unpleasant situation" is from 1878.
Old English myrðrian, from Proto-Germanic *murthjan (cf. Old High German murdran, German mördren, Gothic maurþjan; see murder (n.)). Related: Murdered; murdering.
In addition to the idiom beginning with murder
- murder will out
- get away with (murder)
- scream bloody murder