assassins

assassin

[uh-sas-in]
noun
1.
a murderer, especially one who kills a politically prominent person for fanatical or monetary reasons.
2.
(initial capital letter) one of an order of Muslim fanatics, active in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1272, whose chief object was to assassinate Crusaders.

Origin:
1525–35; < Medieval Latin assassinī (plural) < Arabic ḥashshāshīn eaters of hashish

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World English Dictionary
assassin (əˈsæsɪn)
 
n
a murderer, esp one who kills a prominent political figure
 
[C16: from Medieval Latin assassīnus, from Arabic hashshāshīn, plural of hashshāsh one who eats hashish]

Assassin (əˈsæsɪn)
 
n
a member of a secret sect of Muslim fanatics operating in Persia and Syria from about 1090 to 1256, murdering their victims, usually Crusaders

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

assassin
1530s (in Anglo-L. from mid-13c.), via Fr. and It., from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users," pl. of hashishiyy, from hashish (q.v.). A fanatical Ismaili Muslim sect of the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal,
name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah), with a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by eating hashish. The pl. suffix -in was mistaken in Europe for part of the word (cf. Bedouin).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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