from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Money paid by a killer as compensation to the next of kin of a murder victim.
  • noun Money gained at the cost of another's life or livelihood.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Money paid as the price of blood.
  • noun A percentage of the earnings of compositors working on profitable piece-work exacted for the benefit of brother workmen on less profitable work: practised in a few newspaper houses only, and almost obsolete.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • Money paid to the next of kin of a person who has been killed by another.
  • Money obtained as the price, or at the cost, of another's life; -- said of a reward for supporting a capital charge, of money obtained for betraying a fugitive or for committing murder, or of money obtained from the sale of that which will destroy the purchaser.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Money paid by a killer, or on his behalf, to one of his victims' next of kin.

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

  • noun paid to a hired murderer
  • noun compensation paid to the family of a murdered person
  • noun a reward for information about a murderer


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  • I don't want your blood mo-oo-ney.

    But you might as well take it. We think that you should.

    March 7, 2007

  • The money-penalty paid by a murderer to the kinsfolk of the victim. These fines completely protect the offender (or the kinsfolk thereof) from the vengeance of the injured family. The system was common among the Scandinavian and Teutonic races previous to the introduction of Christianity, and a scale of payments, graduated according to the heinousness of the crime, was fixed by laws, which further settled who could exact the blood-money, and who were entitled to share it. Homicide was not the only crime thus expiable: blood-money could be exacted for all crimes of violence. Some acts, such as killing any one in a church or while asleep, or within the precincts of the royal palace, were "bot-less"; and the death penalty was inflicted. Such a criminal was outlawed, and could be killed on sight.

    In Islamic terms, Qisas can in some cases result in blood money (diyya) being payed out to the family of victims. The amount varies from country to country and from case to case. In Saudi Arabia, the amount of blood money for the killing of a muslim woman is half that for killing a muslim man. The blood money for killing non-muslims is lower than both.

    March 7, 2007

  • Think of the things you can do with that money

    Choose any charity, give to the poor....

    March 8, 2007

  • I just read "the Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes. The term " blood money" as used in the book is critical and enigmatic. Any thoughts as to what it means in the context of this book? Thanks in advance .

    June 25, 2012