Definition of assassinate in US English:



  • Murder (an important person) in a surprise attack for political or religious reasons.

    ‘the organization's leader had been assassinated four months before the coup’
    • ‘Well, I think it would be a terrible thing for us to say we're just going to go in and assassinate the guy.’
    • ‘Let's make that clear to our audience, lest they go running off and assassinate him in the courtroom.’
    • ‘At the top of the mountain, anti-cloning extremists assassinate him, and everyone else on board the helicopter, too.’
    • ‘He was assassinated last week, though apparently not due to his views on immigration.’
    • ‘Through the same entrance now goes the man accused of assassinating the president.’
    • ‘You can also see the car in which he was riding when he was assassinated in 1923.’
    • ‘Neither did it mention the plans to assassinate the foreign secretary and leading British political figures.’
    • ‘Terrorist groups assassinated politicians and bombed public buildings.’
    • ‘Some of these fascists are crazy and one of them might well have assassinated her.’
    • ‘A few months later he was assassinated in the midst of his army in October 1981.’
    • ‘He announced that he knew of the existence of someone trying to assassinate him, which frightens him.’
    • ‘Political opponents were assassinated, women were raped before being mutilated and killed.’
    • ‘I told him I thought it was the right decision, given that one of the chaps he met over there has been accused of trying to assassinate the President.’
    • ‘Both presidents were assassinated in office and both assassins used their middle names for preference.’
    • ‘I'm going to interview the man that nobody has talked to, the man that has just been charge with assassinating the president.’
    • ‘It was the first time in modern history a Dutch political leader was assassinated.’
    • ‘Two weeks ago a gunman nearly succeeded in assassinating the president.’
    • ‘The instructor puts a single bullet into a gun, and tells the first candidate, a man, to go and assassinate the person in the next room.’
    • ‘Absolutely none of which is a reason to assassinate anyone.’
    • ‘It would be my last if I am assassinated on the way out of the Town Hall.’
    murder, kill, execute, slaughter, butcher, liquidate, eliminate, exterminate, terminate
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin assassinat- ‘killed’, from the verb assassinare, from assassinus (see assassin).