Definition of matricide in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The killing of one's mother:

    ‘a man suspected of matricide’
    • ‘After a series of twists and turns, Orestes makes himself known to Electra and they avenge their father's murder by committing an act of matricide.’
    • ‘The Chorus replies that it is their duty to avenge crimes of matricide.’
    • ‘Her mother, Clytemnestra, has been driven mad by dreams of her own death at the hands of her son, Orestes, who accomplishes that matricide as revenge for his mother's murder of his father, Agamemnon.’
    • ‘He is at pains to point out that, rather than committing the usual matricide / patricide so common in the intellectual sphere, his paper augments my interpretation, superimposing one interpretation over the other.’
    • ‘I can even, to a lesser degree, comprehend stalkers, serial killers, matricide, fratricide, genocide.’
    • ‘I stayed there for a few minutes and considered if I'd be able to plead temporary insanity when I committed matricide.’
    • ‘I was really clobbered with a sense of the shock of the matricide victim.’
    • ‘In my heart I was already no longer the big angry man, but a stupid and selfish little boy who was on the point of committing matricide.’
    • ‘The second immeasurable crime is matricide, killing one's mother.’
    • ‘He's set horrific tales of drug overdoses, chainsaw murders and matricide to a jubilant beat.’
    • ‘Although the historical characters that make up the cast are a pretty unsavory crew, all thoughts of murder, mayhem, and matricide were still in the future when Agrippina plotted to make her son, Nero, Rome's emperor.’
    • ‘The Chorus of Furies insists that no one can save him from their clutches, because the crime of matricide is an unforgivable sin no matter what, adding that they want to drain away all of his blood and take his life.’
    • ‘‘Unless there's an increase in patricide and matricide twentysomethings who are on a bender with huge debts could be in for a very rude awakening,’ he joked.’
    • ‘After this act of matricide, James' descent into evil feels almost Shakespearean.’
    murder, taking of life, assassination, homicide, manslaughter, liquidation, elimination, doing to death, putting to death, execution, dispatch, martyrdom
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[count noun] A person who kills their mother.
      • ‘We get little real sense of the inner torment suffered by the matricide Orestes and his sister-accomplice Electra, who, like Hamlet, have been handed the task of committing murder to avenge their father and restore order.’
      • ‘The would-be matricide, by the way, will not be charged and social services are dealing with the matter.’


Late 16th century: from Latin matricidium, from mater, matr- mother + -cidium (see -cide).