What does assassinate mean?

Definitions for assassinate
əˈsæs əˌneɪtas·sas·si·nate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word assassinate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. assassinateverb

    murder; especially of socially prominent persons

    "Anwar Sadat was assassinated because many people did not like his peace politics with Israel"

  2. assassinateverb

    destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation

    "He assassinated his enemy's character"


  1. assassinatenoun

    Assassination, murder.

  2. assassinatenoun

    An assassin.

  3. assassinateverb

    To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons.

  4. assassinateverb

    To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. ASSASSIN, Assassinatenoun

    A murderer; one that kills by treachery, or sudden violence.

    Etymology: assassin, Fr. a word brought originally from Asia, where, about the time of the holy war, there was a set of men called assassins, as is supposed for Arsacidæ, who killed any man, without regard to danger, at the command of their chief.

    In the very moment as the knight withdrew from the duke, this assassinate gave him, with a back blow, a deep wound into his left side. Henry Wotton.

    The Syrian king, who, to surprize
    One man, assassin like, had levy’d war,
    War unproclaim’d. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi.

    Here hir’d assassins for their gain invade,
    And treach’rous pois’ners urge their fatal trade. John Dryden, Juv.

    When she hears of a murder, she enlarges more on the guilt of the suffering person, than of the assassin. Joseph Addison, Spectator.

    Orestes brandish’d the revenging sword,
    Slew the dire pair, and gave to fun’ral flame
    The vile assassin, and adult’rous dame. Alexander Pope, Odyssey.

    Useful, we grant, it serves what life requires,
    But dreadful too, the dark assassin hires. Alexander Pope, Epist. iii.

  2. Assassinatenoun

    The crime of an assassin; murder.

    Etymology: from assassin.

    Were not all assassinates and popular insurrections wrongfully chastised, if the meanness of the offenders indemnified them from punishment? Alexander Pope, Dunciad.

  3. To Assassinateverb

    Etymology: from assassin.

    Help, neighbours, my house is broken open by force, and I am ravished, and like to be assassinated. John Dryden, Span. Friar.

    What could provoke thy madness
    To assassinate so great, so brave a man! Ambrose Philips, D. Moth.

    Such usage as your honourable lords
    Afford me, assassinated and betray’d,
    Who durst not, with your whole united pow’rs,
    In fight withstand one single and unarm’d. Samps. Agonist.


  1. assassinate

    Assassination is the murder of a prominent or important person, such as a head of state, head of government, politician, world leader, member of a royal family or CEO. The murder of a celebrity, activist, or artist, though they may not have a direct role in matters of the state, may also sometimes be considered an assassination. An assassination may be prompted by political and military motives, or done for financial gain, to avenge a grievance, from a desire to acquire fame or notoriety, or because of a military, security, insurgent or secret police group's command to carry out the assassination. Acts of assassination have been performed since ancient times. A person who carries out an assassination is called an assassin or hitman.


  1. assassinate

    Assassinate refers to the act of deliberately killing a prominent or important person, usually for political reasons or for monetary gain. It often involves treachery, surprise attacks, or lengthy planning to ensure the act's success. Assassinates may be carried out by individuals, organizations, or even governments.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Assassinateverb

    to kill by surprise or secret assault; to murder by treacherous violence

  2. Assassinateverb

    to assail with murderous intent; hence, by extended meaning, to maltreat exceedingly

  3. Assassinatenoun

    an assassination, murder, or murderous assault

  4. Assassinatenoun

    an assassin

  5. Etymology: [F. assassinat.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of assassinate in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of assassinate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of assassinate in a Sentence

  1. William Kunstler:

    You can crucify a Jesus, you can poison a Socrates, you can hang John Brown or Nathan Hale, you can kill a Che Guevara, you can jail a Eugene Debs or a Bobby Seale. You can assassinate John Kennedy or a Martin Luther King, but the problems remain, the hangman's rope never solved a single problem except that of one man.

  2. Charles Grassley:

    Reportedly, the FBI even neglected to notify the relevant local police departments of these specific threats, which urged followers of the terrorist group to assassinate American citizens, these alleged failures are alarming, given the FBI’s stated commitment to ‘work closely with federal, state, and local partners to keep the public informed of potential threats.’.

  3. Chief Antonio Brooklen:

    If you have that much hate and aggression to attempt to assassinate a police officer who is paid to protect and serve, there is no justification for it.

  4. Kathy Griffin:

    You know, I was doing stand-up for so long, there was a time in the Bill Clinton days you could make fun of that Monica [Lewinsky] dress all day long and nobody thought you were a terrorist, but now, like, you said things have gotten not only politically incorrect but this administration and learned it firsthand because I got a call the next day from the Department of Justice and I was under a two-month federal investigation for conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States.

  5. An NYPD source:

    She clearly wants someone to go to the officer’s house and assassinate him in cold blood just like Ramos and Liu.

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"assassinate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/assassinate>.

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    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    • A. proprietary
    • B. arbitrary
    • C. appellative
    • D. indiscernible

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