from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The practice of intentionally and painlessly killing a human being or animal for humane reasons, especially in order to end great suffering or poor quality of life.
- n. An easy death, or the means to bring about such a death.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An easy death; a mode of dying to be desired.
- n. the act or process of putting to death for humane purposes; -- used to refer to the killing of animals in order to relieve or avoid pain.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An easy, tranquil death; death of an easy, painless kind.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the act of killing someone painlessly (especially someone suffering from an incurable illness)
Greek euthanasiā, a good death : eu-, eu- + thanatos, death.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested in 1606, from Ancient Greek εὐθανασία (euthanasia), from εὐ- (eu-, "good") + θάνατος (thanatos, "death") (Wiktionary)