Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To murder (a prominent person) by surprise attack, as for political reasons.
  • transitive v. To destroy or injure treacherously: assassinate a rival's character.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack.
  • n. Assassination, murder.
  • n. An assassin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An assassination, murder, or murderous assault.
  • n. An assassin.
  • transitive v. To kill by surprise or secret assault; to murder by treacherous violence.
  • transitive v. To assail with murderous intent; hence, by extended meaning, to maltreat exceedingly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To kill or attempt to kill by surprise or secret assault; murder by sudden or treacherous violence.
  • To assault; maltreat.
  • Figuratively, to blight or destroy treacherously; overthrow by foul or unfair means: as, to assassinate a person's character or reputation.
  • To commit murder by assassination.
  • n. Assassination; murderous assault.
  • n. An assassin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. murder; especially of socially prominent persons
  • v. destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation

Etymologies

From assassin +‎ -ate, after Middle French assassiner. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In my hypo, the power to assassinate is constrained by the preference for atrial.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Opinio Juris Discussions of Targeting of US Citizen

  • CLANCY: All right, so Pat Robertson there saying he didn't use the word assassinate, but you did hear that in the other clip.

    CNN Transcript Aug 24, 2005

  • You think it's accurate to use the word assassinate in what the - Regardless of the heavy criticism, doesn't it diminish real assassinations when you throw up the word assassinate because Sarah Palin didn't like some of the questions she got in an interview?

    Latest Articles

  • I doubt that any of them could spell the word assassinate, yet they were recycling hate learned from their parents.

    This is Babylon

  • In his later negotiations with the CIA, he refused to use the word assassinate; he preferred eliminate.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol VIII No 1

  • Only the word "assassinate" is too hard to speak and spell for RealAmericans, so they'll just talk about "shooting" Obama.

    The Opinuary Column

  • Well, as Jon Stewart pointed out last night, Robertson used "assassinate" as a verb and not a noun.

    Steven G. Brant: Pat Robertson: Love means never having to say you're sorry

  • At National Security Council meetings, officials never use the word "assassinate" or explicitly discuss targeting individuals, according to a knowledgeable source.

    Evil In The Cross Hairs

  • Some people and/or institutions may have attempted to "assassinate" Kabaka's character following the shooting, but it is also true that some people consider a recitation of Kabaka's actions equals character assassination.

    Smithman's Arguments Broken Into Smithereens

  • Hamadi, also makes a thinly veiled reference to the opposition being "enemies of the Comoran nation," waiting only for an opportunity to grab power and "assassinate" the country.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.