from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of beheading.
  • noun Summary removal from office.

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

  • noun The act of beheading; beheading.

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

  • noun The act of beheading; beheading.

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

  • noun execution by cutting off the victim's head
  • noun killing by cutting off the head


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • It's about as big as it gets, I guess, when you remember, Paula, that the war began with an attempt, what they called a decapitation attempt, a bombing of what they thought was a bunker that Saddam -- there was one other attempt like it in a restaurant in a part of the city.

    CNN Transcript Dec 14, 2003 2003

  • STEPHEN GREY: Yeah, I'm not sure quite where you lost me there, but I was just saying that there's this parallel war, and 373 is involved in what they call decapitation operations.

    Democracy Now! 2010

  • CNN: Ukraine general arrested in decapitation case

    POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: July 23, 2009 2009

  • I suppose the right will point out that decapitation is not on the list.

    Think Progress » A list of ‘reliably documented’ techniques 2006

  • However, to give credit where credit is due, “Evil Breed” does manage to stumble on an innovative way to prevent a “spot-the-wires” moment at the one hour, two minute twelve second mark by only filming the decapitation from the neck up.

    Current Movie Reviews, Independent Movies - Film Threat 2006

  • In fact, the word "capital" in the context of punishment was coined to describe execution by decapitation, derived from the Latin word caput, which means "head."

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz 2008

  • Recently President Bush signed a national security directive giving Cabinet agencies until early August to come up with plans to function if a so-called decapitation attack occurs.

    CNN Transcript May 31, 2007 2007

  • An Iraqi official called the decapitation an accident.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2007 2007

  • One official, Bassam al-Husseini, called the decapitation "an act of God."

    Hullabaloo 2007

  • And I think we are past the point where what I would call a decapitation strike would take this movement down.

    CNN Transcript Sep 23, 2006 2006


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  • "Underpinning the CIA killer-drone program is a belief that the key to combating al-Qaeda (and possibly the Taliban) is destroying its leadership one by one. As key Pakistani officials have tried to explain, the missile attacks, which have indeed killed some al-Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban figures (as well as whoever was in their vicinity), are distinctly counterproductive. The deaths of those figures in no way compensates for the outrage, the destabilization, the radicalization that the attacks engender in the region. They may, in fact, be functionally strengthening each of those movements. What it's hard for Washington to grasp is this: decapitation, to use another American imperial term, is not a particularly effective strategy with a decentralized guerrilla or terror organization. The fact is a headless guerrilla movement is nowhere near as brainless or helpless as a headless Washington would be."

    - Tom Englehardt, The Imperial Unconscious,, 1 March 2009.

    March 2, 2009

  • I just got this as a random word.

    May 3, 2011