What does Guillotine mean?

Definitions for Guillotine
ˈgɪl əˌtin, ˈgi ə-; esp. for v. ˌgɪl əˈtin, ˌgi ə-Guil·lo·tine

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Guillotine.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. closure by compartment, guillotine(noun)

    closure imposed on the debate of specific sections of a bill

  2. guillotine(verb)

    instrument of execution that consists of a weighted blade between two vertical poles; used for beheading people

  3. guillotine(verb)

    kill by cutting the head off with a guillotine

    "The French guillotined many Vietnamese while they occupied the country"


  1. guillotine(Noun)

    A machine used for the application of capital punishment by decapitation, consisting of a tall upright frame from which is suspended a heavy diagonal-edged blade.

  2. guillotine(Noun)

    A device used for cutting stacks of paper to straight edges, usually by means of a hinged blade attached to a flat platform.

  3. guillotine(Noun)

    A cloture; a motion that debate be ended and a vote taken.

  4. guillotine(Verb)

    To execute, cut or cut short (a person, a stack of paper or a debate) by use of a guillotine.

  5. Origin: From guillotine, after Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, who proposed its use for capital punishment.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Guillotine(noun)

    a machine for beheading a person by one stroke of a heavy ax or blade, which slides in vertical guides, is raised by a cord, and let fall upon the neck of the victim

  2. Guillotine(noun)

    any machine or instrument for cutting or shearing, resembling in its action a guillotine

  3. Guillotine(verb)

    to behead with the guillotine

  4. Origin: [F., from Guillotin, a French physician, who proposed, in the Constituent Assembly of 1789, to abolish decapitation with the ax or sword. The instrument was invented by Dr. Antoine Louis, and was called at first Louison or Louisette. Similar machines, however, were known earlier.]


  1. Guillotine

    The guillotine is a device designed for carrying out executions by decapitation. It consists of a tall upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended. The condemned person is secured at the bottom of the frame, with his or her neck held directly below the blade. The blade is then released, to fall swiftly and sever the head from the body. The device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, when it "became a part of popular culture, celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the Revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents." However, it continued to be used long after the Revolution and remained France's standard method of judicial execution until the abolition of capital punishment with the backing of President François Mitterrand in 1981. The last person guillotined in France was Hamida Djandoubi, on 10 September 1977. The guillotine has also been employed in other countries. In Germany, it saw rapid and prolific use during the Third Reich and was used once by West Germany in 1949 and by the German Democratic Republic as late as 1966.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Guillotine

    gil′ō-tēn, n. an instrument for beheading—consisting of an upright frame down which a sharp heavy axe descends on the neck of the victim—adopted during the French Revolution, and named after Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814), a physician, who first proposed its adoption: a machine for cutting paper, straw, &c.: a surgical instrument for cutting the tonsils.—v.t. to behead with the guillotine.—n. Guill′otinement, death by the guillotine.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Guillotine

    a beheading-machine invented by a Dr. Guillotin, and recommended by him to the National Convention, which adopted it; "with my machine, Messieurs, I whisk off your head in a twinkling, and you have no pain;" it was anticipated by the Maiden in Scotland.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. guillotine

    The instrument of decapitation introduced during the French revolution by the Convention, and named after its supposed inventor, J. I. Guillotin. It is composed of two upright posts, grooved on the inside, and connected on the top by a cross-beam. In these grooves a sharp iron blade, placed obliquely, descends by its own weight on the neck of the victim, who is bound to a board laid below. The invention of machines of this kind is ascribed to the Persians. In Italy, from the 13th century, it was the privilege of the nobles to be put to death by a machine of this kind, which was called mannaia. Machines of similar kind were used in Scotland and Holland for the purpose of decapitation.

Suggested Resources

  1. guillotine

    Song lyrics by guillotine -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by guillotine on the Lyrics.com website.

How to pronounce Guillotine?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say Guillotine in sign language?

  1. guillotine


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Guillotine in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Guillotine in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of Guillotine in a Sentence

  1. Franz Kafka:

    A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.

  2. Mehmet Murat ildan:

    If you are a guillotine producer, watch out your head; because wickedness is a boomerang.

  3. Clare Boothe Luce:

    Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals -- With no cure except as a guillotine might be called a cure for dandruff.

  4. The Republican governor:

    What I think we ought to do is bring the guillotine back, we could have public executions and have, you know, we could even have (guessing) which hole it falls in.

  5. Ayn Rand:

    The common good of a collective -- a race, a class, a state -- was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. The believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with the declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing of themselves. But observe the results.

Images & Illustrations of Guillotine

  1. GuillotineGuillotineGuillotineGuillotineGuillotine

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Translations for Guillotine

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"Guillotine." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 17 Nov. 2019. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Guillotine>.

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