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

  • noun One who executes a condemned person.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who executes or carries into effect; especially, one who carries into effect a death sentence of a court or tribunal; a functionary who inflicts capital punishment in pursuance of a legal warrant; a headsman or hangman.
  • noun That by means of which anything is performed; an instrument or implement used in producing a desired effect.

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

  • noun One who executes; an executer.
  • noun One who puts to death in conformity to legal warrant, as a hangman.

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

  • noun An official person who carries out the capital punishment of a criminal.
  • noun archaic executor

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

  • noun an official who inflicts capital punishment in pursuit of a warrant


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

execution +‎ -er.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word executioner.


  • They'll get – whoever the executioner is – a soldier, a relative of someone who was killed in 9/11, and a frequent flyer.

    Diary Hugh Muir 2010

  • The argument that it's unconstitutional for Congress to be judge, jury and executioner is a case of logical contortion to divert the subject over to that premise and away from the fact that Congress funds what it funds and doesn't fund what it doesn't fund.

    ACORN files lawsuit over loss of federal funding 2009

  • Plus, too many black children see school as a place where they're supposed to get reprimanded and putting black educators as main executioner; we're essentially fortifying centuries-old traditions of promoting blacks as overseer in the proverbial plantation.

    Jose Vilson: Why Black/Latino Male Teachers aren't as Effective in the Classroom... Yet Jose Vilson 2010

  • Beheading, if somewhat gruesome, can be one of the quickest and least painful ways to die - so long as the executioner is skilled, his blade sharp, and the condemned sits still.

    Boing Boing 2007

  • However, appointing oneself judge and jury then acting as executioner is equally abhorrent.

    Santangelo story sweeps the Net 2005

  • Why anyone would think that giving the state the power to be torturer in addition to being executioner is beyond me.

    Think Progress » Imbalance of Powers. 2005

  • [Page 205] not to go; adding, "The executioner is good enough for him."

    The Ruin of a Princess Cl 1912

  • The 24-year-old, who has never disguised his disgust for Briatore - not since his sacking in early August when he described the former Renault team principal as his 'executioner' - again on Monday pulled no punches. - Latest News Headlines 2009

  • On the track the team have again failed to conjure notable results, were tainted by Piquet Jr's attack on Briatore when he was axed - describing him as his "executioner" - and then hit the headlines again in Hungary when Alonso's tyre fell off, resulting in a one-race ban that was overturned on appeal.

    Planet F1 | Formula 1 News 2009

  • The U.S. military quickly announced that the executioner was al-Zarqawi himself, and although no one doubts that he planned the operation, questions soon arose: the figure seems taller than al-Zarqawi, and he uses his right hand to wield the knife.

    The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi 2006


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