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Blend of electro- +‎ execute


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈlektɹəkjuːt/, /əˈlektɹəkjuːt/
    • (file)


electrocute (third-person singular simple present electrocutes, present participle electrocuting, simple past and past participle electrocuted)

  1. (transitive) To kill by electric shock.
    Her hairdryer fell into the tub while she was bathing, and she was electrocuted.
  2. (transitive) To execute by electric shock, often by means of an electric chair.
    The executioner threw the switch on Old Sparky, and the condemned prisoner was electrocuted for his crimes.
  3. (transitive, proscribed, informal) To inflict a severe electric shock (not necessarily fatal) upon.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Formally, the words electrocute and electrocution always imply fatality. Informally, however, these terms are rather often used to refer to serious but nonfatal electric shocks. Standard usage is to reserve electrocute and electrocution for fatal electric shocks, and to use shock or electric shock for nonfatal ones.
  • Originally, electrocute and electrocution specifically referred only to judicial execution by electric shock. However, electrocute and electrocution are now used to refer to all fatal electric shocks, even those not used in execution.


  • (execute using electricity): fry (slang)
  • (nonfatal electric shock): electrify

Related terms[edit]





  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of electrocutar
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of electrocutar
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of electrocutar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of electrocutar




  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of electrocutar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of electrocutar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of electrocutar.