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[ih-lek-truh-kyoot] /ɪˈlɛk trəˌkyut/
verb (used with object), electrocuted, electrocuting.
to kill by electricity.
to execute (a criminal) by electricity, as in an electric chair.
Origin of electrocute
1885-90, Americanism; electro- + (exe)cute
Related forms
electrocution, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for electrocute
Historical Examples
  • I've gone through horrors, and the secrets I know could put dozens of people in prison, if not electrocute them.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • The man in the control room had frustrated the attempt to electrocute us.

    Spacewrecked on Venus Neil R. Jones
  • If the victim dies, please find out for me whether they behead, hang, or electrocute in Japan for capital punishment.

    A Yankee in the Far East George Hoyt Allen
  • And if you make any sudden moves you are liable to break a phone, electrocute yourself, or choke to death.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • And if you make any sudden moves you are liable to break a phone, electrocute yourself or choke to death.

    Sense of Obligation Henry Maxwell Dempsey (AKA Harry Harrison)
  • We electrocute the Italian and print pictures of the wheat speculator in our magazines as an example of Success.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
British Dictionary definitions for electrocute


verb (transitive)
to kill as a result of an electric shock
(US) to execute in the electric chair
Derived Forms
electrocution, noun
Word Origin
C19: from electro- + (exe)cute
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 electrocute

"execute by electricity," 1889, American English, from electro- + back half of execute. The method first was used Aug. 6, 1890, in New York state, on William Kemmler, convicted of the murder of his common-law wife. Sense involving accidental death is first recorded 1909. Electric chair is also first recorded 1889, which is when the first one was introduced in New York state as a humane alternative to hanging. Related: Electrocuted; electrocuting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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