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 for a crime he didn't commit’
    ‘a city full of lynchings and riots’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Angry mobs lynching someone suspected of murder is wrong, even if that person is actually guilty.’
    • ‘I'm afraid the men around him are going to lynch him.’
    • ‘Another theory holds that the townspeople lynched him and threw him off the bridge leading into town.’
    • ‘I don't want to go to school with you, but I'm not going to lynch you.’
    • ‘The students applauded to the skies; the administrators wanted to lynch me.’
    • ‘If you just grabbed an unconvicted murderer off the street and lynched him, you would be a murderer in your own right.’
    • ‘They will either lynch him or return him to power.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Blake was accused of killing his wife, and they want 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’.’
    • ‘He was lynched in Italy while serving in World War II, after being accused of raping one White woman and murdering another.’
    • ‘If I go out onto the streets tonight will I be lynched by an England mob?’
    • ‘I'd have to agree as well… although I'm not black, so please don't lynch me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In April, people in Ilave burst into a town council meeting, grabbed their mayor, dragged him through the streets and lynched him.’
    • ‘He informs her that he is buried next to Celie's mother; however, because he was lynched, there is no marker.’
    • ‘Yet they would beat and lynch someone for being something that wasn't within their control, like skin color or region of birth.’
    • ‘In June 1937, a group of white men broke into the home of Willie Scott in West Feliciana Parish, seeking 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.’
    hang, hang by the neck
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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.