Definition of regicide in US English:



  • 1The action of killing a king.

    • ‘As Exton offers the usurper, now King Henry IV, the body of the dead king he lays claim to a reward for regicide.’
    • ‘Now, while quoting John Milton and admiring Christopher Wren, he must face up to fire and plague and regicide, to the opium and slave trades.’
    • ‘In the later years of the correspondence, there was another major factor: his younger brother was arrested in 1928 for attempted regicide.’
    • ‘Soon after his death, propagandists began to construct a myth of Scrope as a latter-day Thomas Becket, martyred for his exposure of Henry IV's perjury, regicide and tyrannical rule.’
    • ‘Enlarged by many newly readmitted members who had held aloof from the act of regicide, it settled into a more prolonged and conservative regime than the army had ever envisaged.’
    • ‘Brand Donnian a traitor, charge him with regicide.’
    • ‘In the hands of the Protestant exiles in the 1550s, conciliarism mutated into forms of resistance theory which justified regicide or the deposition of kings.’
    • ‘So hot was the topic of regicide, censors of the day made the librettist relocate the plot to Puritan Boston.’
    • ‘Similarly, the political realities forced upon a nation suffering the after-effects of civil war and regicide were sobering indeed.’
    • ‘In the earlier 20th century the play's structural kinship with two plays about regicide, Richard III and, especially, Macbeth, was frequently noted.’
    • ‘His most influential interpreter, Mencius, carried his ideas further, even to the justification of regicide.’
    • ‘But the vision of a new world soon darkened, as constitution-making gave way to mob rule, regicide, terror, atheism, and then military dictatorship.’
    • ‘Valuable though such essays are, one might again quibble with a selection lacking analyses of the impact of radicalism on the political process at Westminster or the politics of regicide and republicanism.’
    • ‘There was an immediate clampdown on any subject that smacked of regicide and the San Carlo attempted to foist on Verdi its own re-write of the libretto.’
    • ‘The 55th anniversary of one such regicide passed three days ago.’
    • ‘Before the royal family's flight, regicide was generally considered an unthinkable option which was advocated only by the most violent of extremists.’
    • ‘Part of me aches to see all Royals beheaded, and I recommend regicide as a fitting career path for my students.’
    • ‘It's easier to believe that Macbeth meets three witches in the forest that goad him to regicide than it is to accept that Romeo and Juliet actually love one another.’
    • ‘A 5th Century AD dynastic drama was played out here, centred on a usurper of the throne named Kasyapa - the tale of regicide and revenge is equal to anything in Shakespeare.’
    • ‘Yes, yes, regicide was often accompanied by such atrocities, but this was the 20th century.’
    1. 1.1 A person who kills or takes part in killing a king.
      • ‘There was one single solitary chair per dim chamber, or one dark tapestry to divide a gloomy passageway, allowing regicides easy concealment behind it.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, then, former members of the Convention did much better than in the previous year: 162 were elected, 71 of them regicides.’
      • ‘Those regicides who were already dead, such as John Bradshaw and Oliver Cromwell, had vengeance wreaked on their disinterred corpses.’
      • ‘Did singing a regicidal song mean that the singer was himself a regicide?’
      • ‘She was foreign-born and a regicide, having got rid of her weak-minded husband Peter III.’
      • ‘Some of the regicides - those who signed the death warrant - were executed after the Restoration, but the king's death marked a turning point, the end of the doctrine of divine right.’
      • ‘Gradually the rage against the Puritan regicides passed.’
      • ‘Sir Purbeck Temple, testifying against the regicides in 1660, alleged that ‘the people cried out: ‘What, do you carry the King in a common Sedan, as they carry such as have the Plague?’’’
      • ‘The hero of Dostoevsky's novel - Rodion Raskolnikov - is not a regicide in deed but in word.’
      • ‘By killing the king the regicides made any future compromise impossible; they committed treason and their lives were forfeit.’
      • ‘The second and third consuls offer a good example of the consular ralliement: Cambacérès was a regicide, while Lebrun was a royal servant under the Ancien Régime.’
      • ‘In the fall of 1861, the Richmond Dispatch launched an assault on the American Tract Society for issuing Oliver Cromwell's Bible for the use of Yankee troops, condemning the implicit sanction given to ‘the whole crowd of pious regicides.’’
      • ‘He played a leading role in the king's trial, and unlike many of the regicides probably had few qualms about signing his death warrant.’
      • ‘When Charles II returned to become king of England in 1660, those men who had signed his father's death warrant were tried as regicides (the murderer of a king) and executed.’
      • ‘In absolutist France, for instance, criminals were publicly tortured and executed, and the book begins with a detailed and thoroughly gruesome account of the punishment of a regicide in 1757.’
      • ‘These differences came to a head when a would-be regicide appealed for assistance from the society.’
      • ‘Northumberland opposed both Charles's execution and the prosecution of the regicides.’
      killing, homicide, assassination, liquidation, extermination, execution, slaughter, butchery, massacre
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Mid 16th century: from Latin rex, reg- ‘king’ + -cide, probably suggested by French régicide.