verb (used with object)
to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.

1825–35, Americanism; v. use of lynch in lynch law

lyncher, noun
antilynching, adjective

hang, lynch (see synonym study at hang).

See hang. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lynch (lɪntʃ)
(tr) (of a mob) to punish (a person) for some supposed offence by hanging without a trial
[probably after Charles Lynch (1736--96), Virginia justice of the peace, who presided over extralegal trials of Tories during the American War of Independence]

Lynch (lɪntʃ)
1.  David. born 1946, US film director; his work includes the films Eraserhead (1977), Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart (1990), and Mulholland Drive (2001) and the television series Twin Peaks (1990)
2.  John, known as Jack Lynch. 1917--99, Irish statesman; prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1966--73; 1977--79)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1835, from earlier Lynch law (1811), likely named after William Lynch (1742-1820) of Pittsylvania, Va., who c.1780 led a vigilance committee to keep order there during the Revolution. Other sources trace the name to Charles Lynch (1736-1796) a Virginia magistrate who fined and imprisoned Tories in his
district c.1782, but the connection to him is less likely. Originally any sort of summary justice, especially by flogging; narrowing of focus to "extralegal execution by hanging" is 20c. Lynch mob is attested from 1838. The surname is either from O.E. hlinc "hill" or Ir. Loingseach "sailor." Cf. earlier Lydford law, from a place in Dartmoor, England, "where was held a Stannaries Court of summary jurisdiction" [Weekley], hence:
"Lydford law: is to hang men first, and indite them afterwards." [Thomas Blount, "Glossographia," 1656]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for lynching
White republicans were often victims of lynching as well in the postwar period.
Authorities suspect the lynching was provoked by the persons being investigated.
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