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From French assassin or Italian assassino, from either Arabic حَشَّاشِين (ḥaššāšīn, hashish users).



assassin (plural assassins)

  1. (historical) A member of a Muslim group who employed assassination of key enemy figures as their tactic.
    • 1603, John Florio, transl.; Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, printed at London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821:
      , II.29:
      The Assassines, a nation depending of Phœnicia, are esteemed among the Mahometists of a soveraigne devotion and puritie of maners; they hold, that the readiest and shortest way to gaine Paradise, is to kill some one of a contrary religion [].
    (by extension, historical) A member of the Nizari Ismaili sect of Islam
  2. Someone who intentionally kills a person, especially a professional who kills a public or political figure.
    • 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
      Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
  3. Any ruthless killer.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


assassin (third-person singular simple present assassins, present participle assassining, simple past and past participle assassined)

  1. (nonstandard) To assassinate.




From either Arabic حَشَّاشِين (ḥaššāšīn, hashish users) or أَسَاسِيُّون (ʾasāsiyyūn).



assassin m (plural assassins)

  1. an assassin


assassin (feminine singular assassine, masculine plural assassins, feminine plural assassines)

  1. deadly; fatal; that kills

Further readingEdit