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murder

[mur-der] /ˈmɜr dər/
noun
1.
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)
2.
Slang. something extremely difficult or perilous:
That final exam was murder!
3.
a group or flock of crows.
verb (used with object)
4.
Law. to kill by an act constituting murder.
5.
to kill or slaughter inhumanly or barbarously.
6.
to spoil or mar by bad performance, representation, pronunciation, etc.:
The tenor murdered the aria.
verb (used without object)
7.
to commit murder.
Idioms
8.
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.
9.
murder will out, a secret will eventually be exposed.
10.
yell / scream bloody murder,
  1. to scream loudly in pain, fear, etc.
  2. to protest loudly and angrily:
    If I don't get a good raise I'm going to yell bloody murder.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English mo(u)rdre, murder, variant (influenced by Old French murdre < Germanic) of murthre murther
Related forms
self-murder, noun
self-murdered, adjective
Can be confused
homicide, kill, manslaughter, murder (see synonym study at kill)
Synonym Study
4. See kill1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for murder
  • The laws distinguish between murder and involuntary homicide.
  • The student acted on his own, but other revolutionaries were keen to murder alexander.
  • The murder, looting and general destruction of property was well organized.
  • The police concluded that she was deranged and knew nothing of the murder.
  • Many newspapers, meanwhile, declared the anarchist movement responsible for the murder.
  • Before his birth it was prophesied that he would murder his father and marry his mother.
  • Since it is flavorless, warfarin is a plausible weapon of murder.
  • It gives an account of the murder of a woman and her infant son by a disgruntled mason.
  • For instance, selfdefense is legally justified while murder is not.
  • His brutal beating and murder of an older woman finally lands alex in prison.
British Dictionary definitions for murder

murder

/ˈmɜːdə/
noun
1.
the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another Compare manslaughter, homicide
2.
(informal) something dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant: driving around London is murder
3.
(informal) cry blue murder, to make an outcry
4.
(informal) get away with murder, to escape censure; do as one pleases
verb (mainly transitive)
5.
(also intransitive) to kill (someone) unlawfully with premeditation or during the commission of a crime
6.
to kill brutally
7.
(informal) to destroy; ruin: he murdered her chances of happiness
8.
(informal) to defeat completely; beat decisively: the home team murdered their opponents
Also (archaic or dialect) murther
Derived Forms
murderer, noun
murderess, noun:feminine
Word Origin
Old English morthor; related to Old English morth, Old Norse morth, Latin mors death; compare French meurtre
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
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Word Origin and History for murder
n.

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.

v.

Old English myrðrian, from Proto-Germanic *murthjan (cf. Old High German murdran, German mördren, Gothic maurþjan; see murder (n.)). Related: Murdered; murdering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for murder

murder

noun
  1. the MOST, the GREATEST •Sometimes pronounced with equal stress on each syllable, as noted by 1943 (1935+ Jive talk)
  2. A very difficult or severe person or thing: Baseball is murder on families
verb
  1. To defeat decisively; trounce; clobber: They murdered them all season (1950s+)
  2. To make someone helpless with laughter; fracture, kill: This one'll murder you (1970s+)
Related Terms

bloody murder, get away with murder


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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murder in the Bible

Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man's having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex. 21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut. 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with murder

murder

In addition to the idiom beginning with
murder
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for murder

in criminal law, the unjustified killing of one person by another, usually distinguished from the crime of manslaughter by the element of malice aforethought. See homicide.

Learn more about murder with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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