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1A man who was responsible for beheading condemned prisoners.
- ‘Monmouth himself was captured, and executed by a headsman who botched his job.’
- ‘Set in the 16th century, it shows us the romantic life of a headsman, that is, the executioner who must chop people's heads off when they misbehave.’
- ‘It is admirable that you accept a male paramoor in your household, but still, I would have been more stalwart and given the creature up to the headsmen.’
- ‘Mounting a stage before a roaring fire, she spent her last moments in great dignity, only to die at the hands of an incompetent headsman who missed her neck with his first stroke.’
- ‘With the braggart dash and swagger of the soldiers of fortune amongst whom Deutsch had served, the headsman presents the Baptist's head with exaggerated courtliness to Salome.’
2A person in command of a whaling boat.
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