|1.||manslaughter Compare homicide the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another|
|2.||informal something dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant: driving around London is murder|
|3.||informal cry blue murder to make an outcry|
|4.||informal get away with murder to escape censure; do as one pleases|
|5.||(also intr) to kill (someone) unlawfully with premeditation or during the commission of a crime|
|6.||to kill brutally|
|7.||informal to destroy; ruin: he murdered her chances of happiness|
|8.||informal to defeat completely; beat decisively: the home team murdered their opponents|
|[Old English morthor; related to Old English morth, Old Norse morth, Latin mors death; compare French meurtre]|
"Mordre wol out that se we day by day." [Chaucer, "Nun's Priest's Tale," c.1386]Weakened sense of "very unpleasant situation" is from 1878. The verb is O.E. myrðrian, from P.Gmc. *murthjan. Related: Murdered; murdering.
Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Num. 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Lev. 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man's having been made in the likeness of God (Gen. 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Ex. 21:12, 14; Deut. 19:11, 13; 2 Sam. 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Num. 35:19-30; Deut. 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deut. 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Ex. 21:15-17; Deut. 27:16).
scream bloody murder
Angrily protest as loudly as possible, as in When Jimmy took her teddy bear, Lauren screamed bloody murder, or Residents are screaming bloody murder about the increase in property taxes. The scream here may be either literal (as in the first example) or figurative, which is also true of invoking murder as though one were in danger of being killed. Versions of this term, such as cry murder, date from the 1400s.