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From assassin +‎ -ate, after Middle French assassiner.



assassinate (third-person singular simple present assassinates, present participle assassinating, simple past and past participle assassinated)

  1. To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons. [from 17th c.]
  2. (figuratively) To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack.

Related terms[edit]



assassinate (plural assassinates)

  1. (obsolete) Assassination, murder.
    • 1609 December (first performance), Beniamin Ionson [i.e., Ben Jonson], “Epicoene, or The Silent Woman. A Comœdie. []”, in The Workes of Beniamin Ionson (First Folio), London: [] Will[iam] Stansby, published 1616, →OCLC, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):
      , originally Act II Scene II page 187 but Scene I in Gifford’s 1816 edition volume III pages 367–368
      Mor. Why? if I had made an assassinate upon your Father; vitiated your Mother: ravished your Sisters―
      Tru. I would kill you, Sir, I would kill you, if you had.
      Mor. Why? you do more in this, Sir: it were a vengeance centuple, for all facinorous Acts, that could be nam'd, to do that you do.
  2. (obsolete) An assassin.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], “Symptomes of the minde”, in The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC, partition 1, section 3, member 1, subsection 2, page 164:
      Yet again, many of them deſperat hairebraines, raſh, careleſſe, fit to be Aſſaſinates, as being voide of all Feare and Sorrow []


See also[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of assassinare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


assassinate f pl

  1. feminine plural of assassinato