"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ek-si-kyoo-shuh-ner] /ˌɛk sɪˈkyu ʃə nər/
an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant.
a person who executes an act, will, judgment, etc.
Origin of executioner
1555-65; execution + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for executioner
  • Even her hairdresser and her executioner published ghostwritten recollections.
  • At one point in his talk, the lively speaker brandished an executioner's knife that was nearly used on his own neck.
  • When they had both perished he bared his neck to the executioner.
  • The wants to be judge, jury and executioner when they have not even proven to be an adequate town crier.
  • In confrontation, he can seem as savage as an executioner.
  • One sharpshooter fired a blank, leaving each of them the chance to believe he was not an executioner.
British Dictionary definitions for executioner


an official charged with carrying out the death sentence passed upon a condemned person
an assassin, esp one appointed by a political or criminal organization
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 executioner

"headsman," 1560s; "one who carries into effect," 1590s; agent noun from execution.

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

(Mark 6:27). Instead of the Greek word, Mark here uses a Latin word, speculator, which literally means "a scout," "a spy," and at length came to denote one of the armed bodyguard of the emperor. Herod Antipas, in imitation of the emperor, had in attendance on him a company of speculatores. They were sometimes employed as executioners, but this was a mere accident of their office. (See MARK, GOSPEL OF.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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