[ soo-uh-sahyd ]
See synonyms for suicide on
  1. the intentional taking of one's own life.

  2. destruction of one's own interests or prospects: Buying that house was financial suicide.

  1. a person who intentionally takes their own life.

verb (used without object),su·i·cid·ed, su·i·cid·ing.
  1. to intentionally end one’s own life; to die by suicide.

verb (used with object),su·i·cid·ed, su·i·cid·ing.
  1. to kill (oneself).

Origin of suicide

First recorded in 1650–60; from New Latin suīcīdium, equivalent to Latin suī “of oneself,” genitive singular of reflexive pronoun + Latin combining form -cīda “killer”; see origin at -cide

usage note For suicide

In English, the verb suicide exists (e.g., Many teens who suicide have experienced abuse or bullying ), but its use is rare. Rather, the most common way to express the idea of taking one’s own life uses the noun suicide in the expressions to commit suicide or to attempt suicide .
However, the phrase commit suicide is discouraged by major editorial style guides, mental health professionals, and specialists in suicide prevention. The verb commit is associated with crime (in the justice system) and sin (in religion). Using such moralistic language deepens the emotional pain surrounding a suicide.
The verb phrases to die by suicide and to end one’s life are now preferred over the common expression commit suicide . The adjectives successful , unsuccessful , and failed are words that should be avoided when describing a suicide or suicide attempt, as is language that either romanticizes or stigmatizes the act.
Suicide is undeniably a hard subject to broach. It is okay to talk about suicide; studies show that discussing suicide with someone will not make that person suicidal or increase the likelihood of acting on suicidal ideation. But using language that criminalizes the act is insensitive to those whose lives have been touched by suicide.

Other words from suicide

  • an·ti·su·i·cide, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use suicide in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for suicide


/ (ˈsuːɪˌsaɪd, ˈsjuː-) /

  1. the act or an instance of killing oneself intentionally

  2. the self-inflicted ruin of one's own prospects or interests: a merger would be financial suicide

  1. a person who kills himself intentionally

  2. (modifier) reckless; extremely dangerous: a suicide mission

  3. (modifier) (of an action) undertaken or (of a person) undertaking an action in the knowledge that it will result in the death of the person performing it in order that maximum damage may be inflicted on an enemy: a suicide attack; suicide bomber

Origin of suicide

C17: from New Latin suīcīdium, from Latin suī of oneself + -cīdium, from caedere to kill

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