Definition of Assassinate

1. Verb. Murder; especially of socially prominent persons. "Anwar Sadat was assassinated because many people did not like his peace politics with Israel"

Generic synonyms: Kill
Derivative terms: Assassin, Assassination, Assassinator

2. Verb. Destroy or damage seriously, as of someone's reputation. "He assassinated his enemy's character"
Generic synonyms: Asperse, Besmirch, Calumniate, Defame, Denigrate, Slander, Smear, Smirch, Sully
Derivative terms: Assassination

Definition of Assassinate

1. v. t. To kill by surprise or secret assault; to murder by treacherous violence.

2. n. An assassination, murder, or murderous assault.

Definition of Assassinate

1. Verb. To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons. (defdate from 17th c.) ¹

2. Verb. (figuratively) To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack. ¹

3. Noun. (obsolete) Assassination, murder. ¹

4. Noun. (obsolete) An assassin. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Assassinate


Literary usage of Assassinate

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. History of the Plots and Crimes of the Great Conspiracy to Overthrow Liberty by Dye (1866)
"THE PLOT TO assassinate PRESIDENT LINCOLN. Twenty men had been hired in Baltimore to assassinate the President elect on his way to Washington. ..."

2. The Historians' History of the World: A Comprehensive Narrative of the Rise by Henry Smith Williams (1907)
"The court advanced to Amiens, whilst the army besieged and endeavoured to retake Corbie. ATTEMPT TO assassinate THE CARDINAL Here Richelieu's good fortune ..."

3. The Life and Travels of General Grant by Joel Tyler Headley (1879)
"GENERAL GRANT had given a fortnight to Holland, more time than he probably would, had it not been for the attempt to assassinate the Emperor of Germany and ..."

4. Dictionary of National Biography by LESLIE. STEPHEN (1889)
"Vowell, and Somerset Fox on the charge of corresponding with Charles Stuart and conspiring to assassinate the Protector. The trial took place in June 1654. ..."

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