From Middle English murder, murdre, mourdre, alteration of earlier murthre (“murder”) (see murther), from Old English morþor (“secret slaying, unlawful killing”) and Old English myrþra (“murder, homicide”), both from Proto-Germanic *murþrą (“death, killing, murder”), from Proto-Indo-European *mr̥tro- (“killing”), from Proto-Indo-European *mer-, *mor-, *mr̥- (“to die”). Akin to Gothic 𐌼𐌰𐌿𐍂𐌸𐍂 (maurþr, “murder”), Old High German mord (“murder”), Old Norse morð (“murder”), Old English myrþrian (“to murder”) and morþ.
The -d- in the Middle English form may have been influenced in part by Anglo-Norman murdre, from Medieval Latin murdrum from Old French murdre, from Frankish *murþra (“murder”), from the same Germanic root, though this may also have been wholly the result of internal development (compare burden, from burthen).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɜːdə(ɹ)/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɝ.dɚ/
- Hyphenation: mur‧der
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)də(ɹ)
- (uncountable) The crime of deliberately killing another person without justification.
- The defendant was charged with murder.
- 2012 August 21, Ed Pilkington, “Death penalty on trial: should Reggie Clemons live or die?”, in The Guardian:
- Reggie Clemons has one last chance to save his life. After 19 years on death row in Missouri for the murder of two young women, he has been granted a final opportunity to persuade a judge that he should be spared execution by lethal injection.
- 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
- Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. […] One thing that is true, though, is that murder rates have fallen over the centuries, as policing has spread and the routine carrying of weapons has diminished. Modern society may not have done anything about war. But peace is a lot more peaceful.
- (countable) The act of deliberate killing of another person or other being without justification, especially with malice aforethought.
- There have been ten unsolved murders this year alone.
- 1984, Humphrey Carpenter, Mari Prichard, The Oxford companion to children's literature, page 275:
- It may be guessed, indeed, that this was the original form of the story, the fairy being the addition of those who considered Jack's thefts from (and murder of) the giant to be scarcely justified without her.
- 2003, Paul Ruditis, Star Trek Voyager: Companion, →ISBN, page 131:
- Captain Sulu, who served under the legendary James T. Kirk for many years, disobeys Starfleet orders in order to try and help Kirk and another old shipmate, Dr. McCoy, who have been imprisoned for the murder of the Klingon chancellor.
- 2011, Carlene Brennen, Hemingway's Cats, →ISBN, page 161:
- Dr. Herrera also knew Hemingway had held Batista's army personally responsible for the brutal murders of his dogs, Blackie (Black Dog) and Machakos.
- (uncountable, law, in jurisdictions which use the felony murder rule) The commission of an act which abets the commission of a crime the commission of which causes the death of a human.
- (uncountable, used as a predicative noun) Something terrible to endure.
- This headache is murder.
- (countable, collective) A group of crows; the collective noun for crows.
- Adjectives often applied to “murder”: atrocious, attempted, brutal, cold-blooded, double, heinous, horrible, premeditated, triple, terrible, unsolved.
- axe murder
- axe murderer
- capital murder
- cried blue murder
- cries blue murder
- cry blue murder
- crying blue murder
- depraved-heart murder
- first-degree murder
- get away with murder
- lust murder
- mass murder
- mass murderer
- murder by suicide
- murder in the dark
- murder in the first degree
- murder in the second degree
- murder one
- murder one's darlings
- muti murder
- scream bloody murder
- scream blue murder
- screamed bloody murder
- screamed blue murder
- screaming bloody murder
- screaming blue murder
- screams bloody murder
- screams blue murder
- second-degree murder
- wink murder
- 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.
- To deliberately kill (a person or persons) without justification, especially with malice aforethought.
- The woman found dead in her kitchen was murdered by her husband.
- 1577, Raphaell Holinshed, “[The Historie of Englande.]”, in The Firste Volume of the Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande […], volume I, London: Imprinted [by Henry Bynneman] for Iohn Harrison, OCLC 55195564, page 26, columns 1–2:
- In the meane time it chaunced, that Marcus Papyrius ſtroke one of the Galles on the heade with his ſtaffe, because he preſumed to ſtroke his bearde: with whiche iniurie the Gaulle beeing prouoked, ſlue Papyrius (as he ſate) with hys ſworde, and therewith the ſlaughter being begun with one, all the reſidue of thoſe auncient fatherly men as they ſat in theyr Chayres were ſlaine and cruelly murthered.
- (transitive, sports, figuratively, colloquial, hyperbolic) To defeat decisively.
- Our team is going to murder them.
- (figuratively, colloquial, hyperbolic) To kick someone's ass or chew someone out (used to express one’s anger at somebody).
- He's torn my best shirt. When I see him, I'll murder him!
- To botch or mangle.
- 1892, William Shepard Walsh, Handy-book of Literary Curiosities, page 293:
- Dr. Caius, the Frenchman in the play, and Evans the Welshman, "Gallia et Guallia," succeed pretty well in their efforts to murder the language.
- (figuratively, colloquial, Britain) To devour, ravish.
- I could murder a hamburger right now.
- (deliberately kill): assassinate, kill, massacre, slaughter
- (defeat decisively): thrash, trounce, wipe the floor with
- (express one’s anger at): kill
From English murder, from Middle English murder, murdre, mourdre, alteration of earlier murthre (“murder”) (see murther), from Old English morþor (“secret slaying, unlawful killing”) and Old English myrþra (“murder, homicide”), both from Proto-Germanic *murþrą (“death, killing, murder”), from Proto-Indo-European *mrtro- (“killing”), from Proto-Indo-European *mer-, *mor-, *mr- (“to die”).
- Hyphenation: mur‧der