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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘They will either lynch him or return him to power.’
    • ‘I don't want to go to school with you, but I'm not going to lynch you.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another theory holds that the townspeople lynched him and threw him off the bridge leading into town.’
    • ‘If I go out onto the streets tonight will I be lynched by an England mob?’
    • ‘In June 1937, a group of white men broke into the home of Willie Scott in West Feliciana Parish, seeking to lynch him.’
    • ‘Angry mobs lynching someone suspected of murder is wrong, even if that person is actually guilty.’
    • ‘The students applauded to the skies; the administrators wanted to lynch me.’
    • ‘Yet they would beat and lynch someone for being something that wasn't within their control, like skin color or region of birth.’
    • ‘He informs her that he is buried next to Celie's mother; however, because he was lynched, there is no marker.’
    • ‘I'm afraid the men around him are going to lynch him.’
    • ‘If you just grabbed an unconvicted murderer off the street and lynched him, you would be a murderer in your own right.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Blake was accused of killing his wife, and they want to lynch him.’
    • ‘In April, people in Ilave burst into a town council meeting, grabbed their mayor, dragged him through the streets and lynched him.’
    hang, hang by the neck
    execute, put to death, kill, murder
    string up, do in, bump off, knock off
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: from Lynch's law, named after Capt. William Lynch, head of a self-constituted judicial tribunal in Virginia c. 1780.