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.

    Sharpe's Eagle

  • 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.

    The Madonnas of Echo Park

  • Moss and Ibbotson were tied to the trunks, blindfolded, and Forrest stood the firing squad to attention.

    Sharpe's Eagle

  • 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.

    Ice Station Zebra

  • 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.

    Land of the Blind


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