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[mur-der-uh s] /ˈmɜr dər əs/
of the nature of or involving murder:
a murderous deed.
guilty of, bent on, or capable of murder.
extremely difficult, dangerous, or unpleasant:
murderous heat.
Origin of murderous
1525-35; murder + -ous
Related forms
murderously, adverb
murderousness, noun
nonmurderous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for murderous
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • murderous enemy as he was, it seemed to me I should never have slept a wink all the rest of my life.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • murderous house-thieves do not send people to sleep: they kill them.

    Messengers of Evil Pierre Souvestre
  • murderous knaves who, in the heart of the city, close to the imperial precincts, endangered the lives of peaceful people at night!

  • murderous minstrel, instrument of evil, most innocent instrument!

    Thus Spake Zarathustra Friedrich Nietzsche
  • murderous War was here, and frantic Discord, whose viperous locks are bound with bloody fillets.

  • murderous riots or incendiary outrages took place in no fewer than 167 towns and villages, including Warsaw, Odessa and Kiev.

  • murderous shavers and hooks Swiftly your pride will diminish.

    A line-o'-verse or two Bert Leston Taylor
  • murderous indeed was the broadside Duncan poured into her, raking her from aft to fore.

British Dictionary definitions for murderous


intending, capable of, or guilty of murder
(informal) very dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant: a murderous road
Derived Forms
murderously, adverb
murderousness, noun
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 murderous

1530s, a hybrid from murder + -ous. An Old English word for it was morðorhycgende. Related: Murderously; murderousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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