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- To murder someone, especially an important person, by a sudden or obscure attack, especially for ideological or political reasons. [from 17th c.]
- 1603, Michel de Montaigne, “Of Vertue”, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes […], book II, London: […] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821, page 408:
- The Assassines, a nation depending of Phœnicia, are esteemed among the Mahometists […]. And thus was our Earle Raymond of Tripoli murthered or assassinated (this word is borrowed from their name) in the middest of his Citie, during the time of our warres in the holy land […].
- (figuratively) To harm, ruin, or defame severely or destroy by treachery, slander, libel, or obscure attack.
to murder by sudden or obscure attack
assassinate (plural assassinates)
- (obsolete) Assassination, murder.
- (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 54573970, 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 […]
assassination — see assassination
assassin — see assassin