Definitions

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

  • n. Law An official order authorizing a person's execution.
  • n. Something that destroys hope or expectation; a deathblow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A warrant that authorizes capital punishment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which puts an end to expectation, hope, or joy.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In law, an order from the proper authority for the execution of a criminal.
  • n. Figuratively, anything which puts an end to hope or expectation.

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

  • n. a warrant to execute the death sentence

Etymologies

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