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[mur-der-er] /ˈmɜr dər ər/
a person who commits murder.
murderers' row,
  1. the row of cells in a prison where murderers and other violent or hard-core criminals are held.
    See also death row.
  2. Baseball. a succession of heavy hitters scheduled to bat one after the other.
  3. any group of notorious or important people: a murderers' row of talent;
    a murderers' row of philosophers.
Origin of murderer
1300-50; Middle English mortherer, mord(e)rer; see murder, -er1
Related forms
self-murderer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for murderer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • murderer that you are, you shall yet suffer for your crimes.

    Sweet Mace George Manville Fenn
  • My hair stands on end, and a terrible voice cries to me, 'murderer!

    The Knight of Malta Eugene Sue
  • One evening the student arrived back at Stephen the murderer's.

  • murderer, ingrate, traitor—those will be my names, perchance.

    Master Olof August Strindberg
  • Whether Mr. murderer and Mrs. Murderess Manning were not both unusually stout people?

    The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
  • murderer as he was, he seems to have discharged his duty faithfully.

    William the Conqueror Edward Augustus Freeman
  • As he descended the stairs, the murderer was humming a little tune.

    The Drunkard Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • It is in that, and not in the murderer, that I seek to interest my reader.

    Three Ghost Stories Charles Dickens
Word Origin and History for murderer

mid-14c., alteration of murtherer (c.1300), agent noun from murder (v.); in part from Old French mordrere, from Medieval Latin murdrarius, from Germanic. Old English words for this included morðorcwalu, morðorslaga, morðorwyrhta, literally "murder-wright." The original murderer's row was in New York City's Tombs prison; figurative use in baseball dates to 1858, though the quintessential one was the 1927 New York Yankees. Fem. form murderess attested from late 14c. Murderee (1920) never caught on.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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