9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-kap-i-teyt] /dɪˈkæp ɪˌteɪt/
verb (used with object), decapitated, decapitating.
to cut off the head of; behead:
Many people were decapitated during the French Revolution.
Origin of decapitate
1605-15; < Late Latin dēcapitātus, past participle of dēcapitāre, equivalent to dē- de- + capit- (stem of caput) head + -ātus -ate
Related forms
decapitation, noun
decapitator, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decapitation
  • Presumably the stress of impending decapitation caused her locks to lose color within hours.
  • But it's more than a spectacular act of decapitation, it's also loads of fun to play.
  • Only the head is served, but a waitress said that shrimp remain alive for a few minutes after decapitation.
  • It was the decapitation of the country's pre-war elite.
  • Hitherto the majority has been distinctly inclined to give a sentence of summary decapitation and dissection.
  • Liberty, equality and fraternity do not require decapitation.
  • The first one was a decapitation by a jagged piece of a roof.
British Dictionary definitions for decapitation


(transitive) to behead
Derived Forms
decapitation, noun
decapitator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin dēcapitāre, from Latin de- + caput head
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 decapitation

1640s, from French décapitation, from Medieval Latin decapitationem (nominative decapitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Late Latin decapitare (see decapitate).



1610s, from French décapiter (14c.), from Late Latin decapitatus past participle of decapitare, from Latin de- "off" (see de-) + caput (genitive capitis) "head" (see capitulum). Related: Decapitated; decapitating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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decapitation in Medicine

decapitation de·cap·i·ta·tion (dĭ-kāp'ĭ-tā'shən)
The removal of a head, as of an animal, a fetus, or a bone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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