Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

I was wondering: when is the line drawn between a murder and an assassination? —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Rewrote a definition to replace "high-profile" with the "politically motivated" description from the assassinate definition as it's more accurate. A mob assassin, for example, kills mobsters, who are by definition low-profile or no-profile, but his killings are politically motivated. Or a stalker might have the sole purpose of killing a high-profile individual, but would not qualify as an assassin. --Struthious Bandersnatch 19:41, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Assassin versus murder[edit]

After an intense discussion about the difference between assassination and murder, I personally have come to a definite distinction between the two:

An assassination always has a political motif and is performed by a third party. In other words, if person(s) X wants person(s) Y killed and hires person(s) Z to perform the killing.

A murder always has a personal reason and is performed by the person him/herself. For example, person X has an argument and kills person Y.

Both assassination and murder can be premeditated, but only murder can be done on an impulse. One or many persons can be involved in either cases.

There remains a blurred line in many cases, but the above definitions seem to make sense. At least to me.

Nicholas Mustelin

Interesting observations :-) I'm not certain about the part, "only murder can be done on an impulse". I could be wrong, but I think if a politician made a surprise unannounced visit to Iraq, and an Iraqi citizen leapt at the opportunity to slit the politician's throat, that could be considered an assassination.