Definition of euthanize in English:


(also euthanise)


[WITH OBJECT]North American
  • Put (an animal) to death humanely.

    ‘older dogs may find loving homes instead of being euthanized’
    • ‘It is not the worst thing in the world for an animal to be humanely euthanized.’
    • ‘In the United States, critically injured racehorses are humanely euthanized by lethal injection.’
    • ‘Rats were then euthanized with pentobarbital overdose.’
    • ‘Two horses were euthanized at Bay Meadows earlier this week apparently after contracting equine rhino tracheitis virus.’
    • ‘Restorationists want to cut trees and euthanize deer.’
    • ‘A young, arrogant veterinarian unable to concentrate on the needs of animals hastily euthanizes an ill horse.’
    • ‘Sodium pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats in animal shelters.’
    • ‘After going unclaimed for ten days, the dog was euthanized.’
    • ‘Subsequently, the rabbits were euthanized and the corneas harvested for microscopic examination.’
    • ‘This story is about this woman who worked for the humane society and euthanized a stray cat.’
    • ‘After having consulted with several equine veterinarians and a human oncologist, the decision was reluctantly made to euthanize the horse.’
    • ‘The colt was so ill, the owner's insurance carrier agreed to pay off on a $200,000 policy if the decision was made to euthanize the horse.’
    • ‘Authorities impound and euthanize his pet tarantula.’
    • ‘Early on, they had been testing every cat for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, then euthanizing any cat with a positive result.’
    • ‘Two Frederick County, Maryland, horses were euthanized recently after displaying symptoms of the disease.’
    • ‘More dogs were euthanised in Ireland than in England over the same period.’
    • ‘None of the horses were euthanized after the accident.’
    • ‘Some, she says, grapple with the difficult question of whether it would be kinder to euthanize a pet than ask it to go on under such difficult circumstances.’
    • ‘Statistics reveal that in the US almost 8 million dogs and cats are euthanized annually because there are no homes for them.’
    • ‘These dogs are either euthanized or the leg is wrapped and allowed to heal unset.’
    destroy, put to sleep, put out of its misery, put to death, kill
    View synonyms


1970s: formed irregularly from euthanasia + -ize.