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behead

[bih-hed] /bɪˈhɛd/
verb (used with object)
1.
to cut off the head of; kill or execute by decapitation.
2.
Geology. (of a pirate stream) to divert the headwaters of (a river, stream, etc.).
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English behe(f)den, beheveden, Old English behēafdian. See be-, head
Related forms
beheadal, noun
beheader, noun
unbeheaded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for behead

behead

/bɪˈhɛd/
verb
1.
(transitive) to remove the head from; decapitate
Word Origin
Old English behēafdian, from be- + heafodhead; related to Middle High German behoubeten
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 behead
v.

Old English beheafdian, from be-, here with privative force, + heafod (see head (n.)). Related: Beheaded; beheading.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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behead in the Bible

a method of taking away life practised among the Egyptians (Gen. 40:17-19). There are instances of this mode of punishment also among the Hebrews (2 Sam. 4:8; 20:21,22; 2 Kings 10:6-8). It is also mentioned in the New Testament (Matt. 14:8-12; Acts 12:2).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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