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[uh-sas-uh-neyt] /əˈsæs əˌneɪt/
verb (used with object), assassinated, assassinating.
to kill suddenly or secretively, especially a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.
to destroy or harm treacherously and viciously:
to assassinate a person's character.
Origin of assassinate
1590-1600; assassin + -ate1
Related forms
assassination, noun
assassinative, adjective
assassinator, noun
counterassassination, noun
unassassinated, adjective
1. slay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for assassination
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So many such letters accumulated that he grimly packeted them together and labeled the mass: "assassination Papers."

    The Lincoln Story Book Henry L. Williams
  • assassination didn't work but combat did, and the results were the same.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • assassination of prominent personages would follow in due course.

    A Drake by George! John Trevena
  • assassination, with some one else doing the work, was much the better way.

    Mystery Ranch Arthur Chapman
  • assassination, blinding, or banishment were the price of defeat.

    Venice and its Story Thomas Okey
  • assassination, in our modern eyes, is the last and lowest infamy of a coward.

    Our Southern Highlanders Horace Kephart
  • assassination was now again resorted to that Napoleon might be overthrown; but every attempt, as heretofore, proved futile.

British Dictionary definitions for assassination


verb (transitive)
to murder (a person, esp a public or political figure), usually by a surprise attack
to ruin or harm (a person's reputation, etc) by slander
Derived Forms
assassination, noun
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 assassination

c.1600, noun of action from assassinate (v.).



1610s, from past participle stem of Medieval Latin assassinare (see assassin). Of reputations, characters, etc., from 1620s. Related: Assassinated; assassinating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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