behead

[bih-hed]
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:
before 1000; Middle English behe(f)den, beheveden, Old English behēafdian. See be-, head

beheadal, noun
beheader, noun
unbeheaded, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
behead (bɪˈhɛd)
 
vb
(tr) to remove the head from; decapitate
 
[Old English behēafdian, from be- + heafodhead; related to Middle High German behoubeten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

behead
O.E. beheafdian, from be-, with privative force, + heafod (see head).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Behead definition


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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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

beheading

a mode of executing capital punishment by which the head is severed from the body. The ancient Greeks and Romans regarded it as a most honourable form of death. Before execution the criminal was tied to a stake and whipped with rods. In early times an ax was used, but later a sword, which was considered a more honourable instrument of death, was used for Roman citizens. Ritual decapitation known as seppuku was practiced in Japan from the 15th through the 19th century. One symbolic consequence of the French Revolution was the extension of the privilege of beheading to criminals of ordinary birth, by means of the guillotine.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for beheading
The poem revolves around two games an exchange of beheading and an exchange of winnings.
Some hostages are released whilst others are killed, sometimes by beheading.
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