|1.||a. a device for beheading persons, consisting of a weighted blade set between two upright posts|
|b. the guillotine execution by this instrument|
|2.||a device for cutting or trimming sheet material, such as paper or sheet metal, consisting of a blade inclined at a small angle that descends onto the sheet|
|3.||a surgical instrument for removing tonsils, growths in the throat, etc|
|4.||Also called: closure by compartment (in Parliament, etc) a form of closure under which a bill is divided into compartments, groups of which must be completely dealt with each day|
|5.||to behead (a person) by guillotine|
|6.||(in Parliament, etc) to limit debate on (a bill, motion, etc) by the guillotine|
|[C18: from French, named after Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738--1814), French physician, who advocated its use in 1789]|
guillotine guil·lo·tine (gĭl'ə-tēn', gē'ə-)
A ring-shaped instrument with a sliding knifeblade running through it, used in cutting off an enlarged tonsil.
A machine designed for beheading people quickly and with minimal pain. The guillotine, which used a large falling knife blade, was devised by a physician, Joseph Guillotin, during the French Revolution and was used as the official method of execution in France until the twentieth century.