- To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons. [from 17th c.]
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 […]. And thus was our Earle Raymond of Tripoli murthered or assassinated (this word is borrowed from their name) in the middest of his Citie, during the time of our warres in the holy land […].
- (figuratively) To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack.
- Your rhymes assassinate our fame.
- Such usage as your honourable lords / Afford me, assassinated and betrayed.
to murder by sudden or obscure attack
assassinate (plural assassinates)
- (obsolete) Assassination, murder.
- (obsolete) An assassin.
1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):, vol.1, III.i.2:
- Yet again, many of them desperate hairbrains, rash, careless, fit to be assassinates, as being void of all fear and sorrow […].
assassination — see assassination
assassin — see assassin