Definition of executioner in US English:



  • An official who carries out a sentence of death on a legally condemned person.

    • ‘There were interviews with executioners who described the process that was unfolding behind the prison walls.’
    • ‘The military will act as interrogators, prosecutors, defense counsel, judges, and when death sentences are imposed, as executioners.’
    • ‘Most likely it was some tradition from the days long ago when the executioners would personally behead the criminals.’
    • ‘I hate to admit it but I feel almost afraid, as if I'm waiting in a condemned cell for the arrival of an executioner.’
    • ‘It would neither distress the condemned person, nor the executioner on the other side as he pulled the trigger.’
    • ‘Near them are statues of the three executioners Bao employed to put different ranks of criminals to death.’
    • ‘The executioner shook the condemned man's hands, removed the steps and the platform dropped back on its hinges.’
    • ‘But the killing fails to meet the standard of a crime even now, because her executioners believed they were dispatching an enemy agent, and the integrity of that belief cannot be invalidated retrospectively.’
    • ‘Led to the scaffold from a death row cell, he was prepped for the noose by a masked executioner.’
    • ‘It had been difficult to find an executioner to carry out the sentence.’
    • ‘Back in the bad old days, didn't condemned criminals sometimes have to pay the executioner's fee for chopping off their own heads?’
    • ‘The executioner was beheaded outside the pub by Royalists and had his head placed on a pike outside as a warning to other rebels.’
    • ‘As they leave, a white liquid giving off a gas slowly seeps from the left and we discover these men are executioners and this is a death chamber.’
    • ‘The executioners are armed with rifles carrying bayonets and they stand about two steps away from the condemned.’
    • ‘There are even interviews with white riot policeman and executioners, but the power of the film belongs to the music, and ‘powerful’ is an understatement.’
    • ‘He struggled as a man condemned to death struggles in the hands of the executioner, knowing that he cannot save himself.’
    • ‘His sadism increased with age and at 31, in AD 68, he stabbed himself in the throat, narrowly missing his official death: being stripped and flogged by executioners.’
    • ‘The masked executioner slipped the noose around Shadow's neck and slowly adjusted it to fit.’
    • ‘He has repeatedly appealed to his supporters and voters not to offer any resistance and to continue to trust the state, its executioners and its prison wardens.’
    • ‘It will also tell the story of Henry's brother Thomas, who was the longest serving of the Pierrepoint executioners and carried out around 300 hangings in 40 years.’
    hangman, official killer
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