Definition of infanticide in English:



  • 1The crime of killing a child within a year of birth.

    • ‘One deals with the postpartum depression defense for a mother accused of infanticide.’
    • ‘There were sixteen convictions for manslaughter (although the original charge had been murder), one for infanticide, and one for murder.’
    • ‘Our practice and our thought recognize infanticide in the archetypal mother, its desire to smother, dissolve, mourn, bewitch, poison, and petrify.’
    • ‘The death penalty applied to homicide, infanticide, rape, robbery, and a number of non-violent crimes, like theft.’
    • ‘Of course infanticide is a crime, but our treatment of it must be handled with compassion when such delicate issues as teenage pregnancy are involved.’
    • ‘Cases now treated as infanticide often involve extreme emotional disturbance, as do mercy killings, suicide pacts, and cases of duress.’
    • ‘So is it possible to say, leaving infanticide to one side, what kind of mothers do better under the legal system and which do worse?’
    • ‘Abortion is the destruction of life after conception and before birth, whereas infanticide is the killing of new-born babies.’
    • ‘There are several offences of unlawful homicide: murder, manslaughter, infanticide and causing death by dangerous driving.’
    • ‘Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.’
    • ‘The vast majority of women who are charged under Britain's infanticide statute are convicted and then given probationary sentences, often with mandatory psychological counseling.’
    • ‘And birth is too late, because abortion of a nearly full-term fetus is (under most circumstances) the moral equivalent of infanticide.’
    • ‘A paediatrician argued that two infant deaths within the family made infanticide statistically almost certain, and that the episodes of hypernatraemia indicated salt poisoning.’
    • ‘Hence, if I go on to express my rejection of infanticide by saying that infanticide is wrong I am committed to rejecting abortion.’
    • ‘Lord Goldsmith said 258 convictions of parents over 10 years for infanticide, murder and manslaughter were to be reviewed ‘as a matter of urgency’.’
    • ‘Murder and infanticide have been declared heinous crimes.’
    • ‘A concealed pregnancy was considered tantamount to the crime of infanticide.’
    murder, taking of life, assassination, homicide, manslaughter, liquidation, elimination, doing to death, putting to death, execution, dispatch, martyrdom
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    1. 1.1The practice in some societies of killing unwanted children soon after birth.
      • ‘Female infanticide was common, and the practice of sati, the immolation of the wife on her husband's funeral pyre, was encouraged, sometimes even forced.’
      • ‘But, in a country where female infanticide is practised and baby girls abandoned in dustbins, women chief ministers in five States is, nonetheless, remarkable.’
      • ‘The practice of infanticide decreased since children could now be used in rudimentary agricultural tasks.’
      • ‘There is a very widespread and accepted practice of infanticide in most countries.’
      • ‘In places where female infanticide was a customary practice, female foeticide has come in as a deadly substitute that is more convenient, less traumatic and equally effective.’
      • ‘Female infanticide and discrimination is against the principles of liberty.’
      • ‘The practice of female infanticide in rural areas is alarming.’
      • ‘Here our boys saw off a corrupt and lecherous Indian ‘Brahmin’ priest and his gang, who were bent on preserving the alleged practice of female infanticide in India.’
      • ‘Female infanticide was practised before the British arrived particularly among the high castes.’
      • ‘Thanks to new laws and an aggressive intervention program, fewer girl children in Salem are being murdered, but the practice of female infanticide continues.’
      • ‘Women had a considerably better deal in ancient Israel than in, say, Assyria, and Muhammad, forbade the common practice of female infanticide.’
      • ‘Psychologist Ilham al-Sarraf explained how Islam helped end the practice of female infanticide in the Middle East.’
      • ‘Religious edicts have underpinned suicide bombings, amputations, female infanticide and genital mutilation, and the practice of suttee.’
      • ‘Despite numerous measures taken by the Government, cases of female infanticide are reported from many areas.’
      • ‘The practice of female infanticide started 50 years ago when a dam was constructed in the area and the village was divided into the well-irrigated and the arid zones leading to a great deal of economic inequality, says Johnson.’
      • ‘Guru Gobind Singh issued orders forbidding the Khalsa having any association with those that practiced female infanticide.’
      • ‘Sometimes the check is the natural one of famine and plague; in other societies, systematic infanticide is practiced.’
      • ‘The tome documents historical cases when women were targeted for gendercide, including the practice of female infanticide, the witch-hunts in Europe, and war rapes.’
      • ‘Female infanticide, sex selective abortions, and the abandonment and neglect of baby girls remained problems due to the traditional preference for sons, and the birth limitation policy.’
      • ‘Cherokee women also customarily had a great deal of control over their own reproductive activities, having the right to practice abortion and infanticide.’
  • 2A person who kills an infant, especially their own child.

    • ‘Their vision of murderesses and female infanticides as victims and of their murders as motivated by self-defense was part of a strategy of systematic confrontation.’
    • ‘Frenchwomen Ask Clemency for an Infanticide.’
    • ‘The Euripidean portrait of Medea as an infanticide had roots in the folkloric paradigm of the child-killing demon.’
    • ‘Saturn Devouring One of His Sons depicts the graphic and bloody dismemberment of a cannibalistic infanticide.’


Mid 17th century: via French from late Latin infanticidium, from Latin infant- (see infant) + -cidium (see -cide).