from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A detachment assigned to shoot persons condemned to death.
- n. A detachment of soldiers chosen to fire a salute at a military funeral.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A group of soldiers or paramilitaries detailed to execute someone, usually by rifle shot, or to discharge their weapons ceremonially at a funeral.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a squad formed to fire volleys at a military funeral or to carry out a military execution
Sorry, no etymologies found.
’Daddy‘ Hill had not moved or spoken but now he motioned to his aides-decamp and the small group trotted delicately away, past the firing squad who now lifted the bodies into the coffins, and off towards Oropesa.
My two coconspirators had sandwiched themselves with about ten other boys into a far corner, leaving nowhere for me to stand but right in front of a firing squad of giggling twelve-year-old girls.
Moss and Ibbotson were tied to the trunks, blindfolded, and Forrest stood the firing squad to attention.
Maybe had I been a two-headed visitor from outer space, or had been about to announce the result of a multimillion-pound sweepstake in which they held the only tickets, or was holding straws for them to pick to decide who should go before the firing squad -- maybe then they might have given me an even more exclusive degree of concentration.
And I don't know what it was, but something about standing next to Eli there, against the wall, facing down that firing squad of ten coordinated and binocular kids, led by the cannon-armed Erskine Davies, made me angry, made me want to win.