follow Dictionary.com

Know these essential literary terms?

electrocute

[ih-lek-truh-kyoot] /ɪˈlɛk trəˌkyut/
verb (used with object), electrocuted, electrocuting.
1.
to kill by electricity.
2.
to execute (a criminal) by electricity, as in an electric chair.
Origin
1885-1890
1885-90, Americanism; electro- + (exe)cute
Related forms
electrocution, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for electrocution
  • First, it was said that she had died from electrocution.
  • Most electric fences are designed to interrupt the flow when they are touched thereby decreasing the likelihood of electrocution.
British Dictionary definitions for electrocution

electrocute

/ɪˈlɛktrəˌkjuːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to kill as a result of an electric shock
2.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for electrocution
n.

1890; see electrocute + -ion. Meaning "any death by electricity" is from 1940.

electrocute

v.

"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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for electrocute

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for electrocution

17
22
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with electrocution