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Named after Abraham Zapruder, who shot the footage of the 1963 assassination of the President of the United States John F. Kennedy known as the Zapruder film.


  • IPA(key): /zəˈpɹuːdə(ɹ)/


Zapruder (third-person singular simple present Zapruders, present participle Zaprudering, simple past and past participle Zaprudered)

  1. (transitive) To mesmerize; to fascinate.
    • 2003, William Gibson, Pattern Recognition, Putnam, page 31:
      Zaprudered into surreal dimensions of purest speculation, ghost-narratives have emerged and taken on shadowy but determined lives of their own, but Cayce is familiar with them all, and steers clear.
    • 2011 November 18, "Historians Claim New Research Shows Oswald Acted Alone in JFK Assassination", Fox News:
      "[…] In a sense, we've all been 'Zaprudered,'" he said. "The film was so graphic, disturbing, mesmerizing, that it became more of our perspective on the assassination than even the perspective of the assassin, which should never have happened."
    • 2014 September 23, Zach Dionne, "Stephen King, Roving Format Dabbler, Is Coming to Hulu With ‘11/22/63’", Grantland:
      He mulls whether to try changing history — removing that ugly watershed moment from American history, de-Zaprudering us all in the process — or to stand back. It’s rich stuff, psychologically.
    • 2014 November 20, Max Holland, "The Truth Behind JFK's Assassination", Newsweek:
      Life's explanation fit so neatly with the account that Connally broadcast nationwide from his Dallas hospital bed that even the FBI was promptly "Zaprudered"—so mesmerized by the footage that it lost perspective. […]
      No one realized that the commission, despite its crucial revision of the FBI's analysis, had also been Zaprudered. […]
      The final twist to this saga is that once Zapruder's film is put in its proper context—he recorded an assassination that had started, not one in full—the footage provides some of the most powerful evidence against being Zaprudered. The film is mesmerizing and may deceive, but ultimately it does not lie.
  2. (transitive) To study (a piece of footage) closely.
    • 2006 October 3, Alan Sepinwall, "Veronica Mars: Boom goes the dynamite", What's Alan Watching?:
      Ah, well; at least 'shippers can stop Zaprudering old episodes to figure out whether Logan and Veronica have done it.
    • 2006 October 9, Benjamin Zimmer, "Chomsky killed by interpreter?", Language Log:
      Perhaps they had a fleet of bilingual fact-checkers on the case, carefully Zaprudering the Chávez video to determine what exactly was said.
    • 2010 January 18, Erica Sadun, "Zaprudering the invite: Obsessive fun with TUAW", TUAW:
      Why, Zapruder the heck out of the invite of course. Zaprudering, as the SciFicast explains, "is a neologism derived from the Zapruder film, the amateur 8mm film that is the only known visual record of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It's used here to indicate painstaking analysis of the trailer." Zaprudering refers to a detailed extraction of evidence from a limited set of image data.
    • 2013 November 24, Tommy Christopher, "Video: Alex Jones Gets ‘Punched’ by ‘Rampaging’ Police at Dallas JFK Protest", Mediaite:
      It’s hard to tell in the original, so we’ve Zaprudered it for you to make it easier to tell where the punches occurred:
    • 2014 March 25, Daniel D'Addario, "Sasha Obama "is not impressed" in China -- but leave her alone!", Salon:
      But why are photos of a 12-year-old girl being Zaprudered in this manner to begin with?
    • 2016 November 21, Kevin Draper, "The Raptors Got Screwed Out Of A Game-Tying Buzzer-Beater", Deadspin:
      Instead, replay turns sports fans into sports rulebook lawyers, Zaprudering clips frame-by-frame to determine if something took 2.4 or 2.5 seconds, and getting indignant that the clock operator didn’t immediately notice and react to Cousins tipping the ball, even though the announcers and most fans didn’t notice until watching a replay.
    • 2018 October 18, Liz Roscher, "Is a security guard keeping us from knowing the truth about Jose Altuve's home run?", Yahoo Sports:
      And yet, despite multiple camera angles and a dedicated person in the booth Zaprudering every single frame, this still happened.
    • 2019 April 29, Alan Sepinwall, "‘Game of Thrones’ Close-Up: To Kill a King", Rolling Stone:
      Though the question of exactly how Arya flew in there at the end — as opposed to pulling off a Faceless Man disguise at the last possible second — is one that will be Zaprudered and debated for a long time.

Related terms[edit]