Definition of lynch in English:



  • (of a group of people) kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging:

    ‘her father had been lynched by whites’
    ‘in that year there were twenty-six lynchings of blacks in the USA’
    • ‘He had taken a seat next to the guys in the front, and while they didn't look particularly welcoming, they hadn't lynched him yet.’
    • ‘If I go out onto the streets tonight will I be lynched by an England mob?’
    • ‘Another theory holds that the townspeople lynched him and threw him off the bridge leading into town.’
    • ‘In June 1937, a group of white men broke into the home of Willie Scott in West Feliciana Parish, seeking to lynch him.’
    • ‘Sue's wise tutelage and Tom's submission to it keeps him alive for nineteen years in the hostile South, where ‘They lynch you bout anything’.’
    • ‘In April, people in Ilave burst into a town council meeting, grabbed their mayor, dragged him through the streets and lynched him.’
    • ‘Blake was accused of killing his wife, and they want to lynch him.’
    • ‘Shocked at discovering the evidence of werewolves in their village the townspeople discuss the issue and will ultimately decide to lynch someone whom they suspect of lycanthropy.’
    • ‘They will either lynch him or return him to power.’
    • ‘The students applauded to the skies; the administrators wanted to lynch me.’
    • ‘I'd have to agree as well… although I'm not black, so please don't lynch me.’
    • ‘He was lynched in Italy while serving in World War II, after being accused of raping one White woman and murdering another.’
    • ‘We couldn't care less of what humans think, but, when they try to burn, skin or lynch us, then we mind - and hide as best as we can.’
    • ‘Angry mobs lynching someone suspected of murder is wrong, even if that person is actually guilty.’
    • ‘I don't want to go to school with you, but I'm not going to lynch you.’
    • ‘If you just grabbed an unconvicted murderer off the street and lynched him, you would be a murderer in your own right.’
    • ‘In a prologue, Marion is shown being chased and barely escaping a crowd of angry American white men who want to lynch her and her newly born.’
    • ‘Yet they would beat and lynch someone for being something that wasn't within their control, like skin color or region of birth.’
    • ‘I'm afraid the men around him are going to lynch him.’
    • ‘He informs her that he is buried next to Celie's mother; however, because he was lynched, there is no marker.’
    hang, hang by the neck
    execute, put to death, kill, murder
    string up, do in, bump off, knock off
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Mid 19th century: from Lynch's law, named after Capt. William Lynch, head of a self-constituted judicial tribunal in Virginia c. 1780.