Definition of hangman in US English:



  • 1An executioner who hangs condemned people.

    • ‘At this point the forensic psychiatrist is invited to participate in a legally authorized execution, an act that makes doctors, at least metaphorically, into hangmen's accomplices.’
    • ‘Well Diane, finally, how do you think that history will judge these people who were the hangmen?’
    • ‘He is interested in the character of the hangmen.’
    • ‘On the same basis, skiers should be warned that those plank things on their feet could cause them to slide downhill rather rapidly and hangmen that their gallows were a bit unsafe because of that ruddy great trapdoor.’
    • ‘Indeed, from hangmen, Copper Kings, scientists, and artists to hoboes, harlots, and homesteaders, we enjoyed Montana and western history in all its varied aspects.’
    • ‘Now the colourful life of Pierrepoint - whose father and uncle had been hangmen before him - is to be turned into a film, The Last Hangman, with Timothy Spall in the main role.’
    • ‘Across the road there's Provand's Lordship, Glasgow's oldest house, dating back to 1471, home in the 19th century to Glasgow's hangmen, who would have dispatched many a Duke Street prisoner.’
    • ‘But I'd never ask anyone - a hangman or executioner, to do something I wouldn't do myself, nor approve of it.’
    • ‘It is no accident that he seeking to recruit the torturers, hangmen and thugs of the old Baathist regime.’
    • ‘The latter two are deviously funny as perverts, self-aggrandising but insecure bounty hunters, game-show-host-styled hangmen, and lords and ladies of the depraved aristocracy.’
    • ‘Of all Stalin's hangmen, the most frightening was the last.’
    • ‘During Burns's own lifetime, books and poems were burned in Edinburgh's High street by the common hangmen.’
    • ‘Thanks to a new book from historian and author of popular true crime books James Bland, the gruesome lives of some of the country's most infamous hangmen are brought vividly to life.’
    • ‘Mallick comes from a family of professional hangmen - his father, D. Mallick, had hanged nearly 500 people.’
    • ‘Again, due to the treason of fundamentalist hangmen, our people have been caught in the claws of the monster of a vast war and destruction.’
    • ‘But for nearly all the cases we considered, it wouldn't have mattered if we were all hooded hangmen.’
    • ‘British hangmen, we were told, took pride in their skill and efficiency.’
    • ‘If your community needs judges, jailers, or even hangmen, and you are qualified, he declares, sign up!’
    • ‘I presume those arguing for fox hunting were complaining then that the banning of capital punishment ended decades of tradition and that loss of jobs for hangmen was enough to outweigh any moral issues.’
    • ‘Its gnarled branches twisted and turned into the air, and a hangman's noose hung from one of its thickest and strongest branches.’
    1. 1.1 A game for two in which one player tries to guess the letters of a word, and failed attempts are recorded by drawing a gallows and someone hanging on it, line by line.
      • ‘We talked, listened to songs, played games like anti-tictactoe (where your objective is to force the other person to get three in a row), hangman and scrabble.’
      • ‘Cards and games of hangman were our salvation and how we managed to remain positive while barely able to stand the smell of each other, I will never know.’
      • ‘The games include crosswords, hangman and cryptogram.’
      • ‘And Jamie isn't in my English set so I had no one to play hangman with.’
      • ‘Arresting young children for a crayon drawing, not unlike the games of hangman we once all played, is the ultimate meaning and logic of Zero Tolerance.’
      • ‘His fears are confirmed when he spies a curious Post-It note on the fridge revealing an unfinished game of hangman.’
      • ‘Use washable window markers to make colorful creations that even passers-by can enjoy, or to play endless, paper-free games like tic-tac-toe and hangman.’
      • ‘We started out with the old standard hangman, then figured out ways to complicate it.’
      • ‘I let most of my classes play hangman in the last five minutes before class ends if they complete the work that I have set for them.’
      • ‘She must have seen our hangman games because she stopped.’
      • ‘‘James, play hangman with me on the board,’ she insisted.’
      • ‘The priest's sermon, recalling his youthful days as a missionary, doesn't garner much attention as the kids use stubby pencils to play hangman on the backs of their programs.’
      • ‘Russian American immigrant Olesa Zaharova leads a game of hangman on the blackboard of her language class.’
      • ‘Playing Cranium feels like playing charades, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Name That Tune and hangman all at once.’
      • ‘We played hangman and tic-tac toe in the dry sand to conserve water for writing.’
      • ‘Plus, you can write letters home to let your partner know how much you're missing them, and that you're not even joining in the games of filthy hangman.’
      • ‘The resources here include comprehension activities and games such as hangman, and plenty of information about the news, culture and lifestyle of German-speaking countries.’
      • ‘At his daytime job he has ominous conversations with a sinister welder whom none of his co-workers has ever seen, and he finds cryptic notes in his apartment in the form of handwritten hangman games.’
      • ‘As I recall, my early school years included a gazillion games of hangman.’
      • ‘Provided by Summerhill School in Kingswinford, the site provides interactive online activities for students, using popular games such as hangman.’